NBCFAE soaring at 42nd Annual National Training Conference

The National Black Coalition of Federal Aviation Employees (NBCFAE) was flying high at the 42nd Annual National Training Conference held August 27-30 in Chicago, IL at the Palmer House Hilton hotel. NBCFAE was founded in 1976 and has provided advocacy for 5000+ individuals who have requested support in affirmative action, networking and professional development.

Approximately 250 were in attendance, which is approximately 25% of NBCFAE’s membership. Attendees included members from Nigeria, West Africa, currently the only international members of NBCFAE.

As mentioned in the NBCFAE brochure by Tammy Duckworth, US Senator and Robin L. Kelly, Member of Congress, NBCFAE is inspiring the next generation of Aviation professionals and promoting advocacy for equal opportunity. NBCFAE strives to improve employee relations, serve as a liaison between FAA employees, management and the community.

Conference attendees expressed that the program was comprehensive, offering experiential learning, inspirational messages, professional development and networking opportunities for association members and guests. Vendor booths provided information to association members. Congratulations to the Great Lakes Region for putting this together!

Here are some of the highlights…

Youth Aviation Day: The Aviation Career Education (ACE) academy was held on Monday at the Midway Airport where 100+ youth participated. NBCFAE puts on the ACE campus throughout the US year around and is passionate about promoting STEM education and aviation careers to young people. Achievements in aviation education have provided youth with a positive outlook on the possibilities of careers in aviation, which have opened up a world of possibilities in areas such as aerospace medicine, aviation law, aerospace engineering, aviation real estate, international affairs, administration, information technology and engineering, just to name a few of the many careers that are available. Children now see the opportunities are far reaching outside of being a pilot, flight attendant, or mechanic. The ACE academy was a nice start to the Aviation/Aerospace Career Expo held later at the Palmer House Monday evening.

Health and Wellness: Several interactive sessions were conducted, such as Power Walk the Lake, Fitness Blender, Wellbeing for a Healthier Mind and Body and the Mindy Body Connection that emphasized the need for health and wellness. Good health and mental alertness is a core requirement for working in the aviation industry. A special thanks to the facilitator Tiffiney Ross, Aerobics Instructor.

Leadership Development: Non-positional Leadership workshops were facilitated by Dr. Willis Thomas. Participants completed an assessment that gave them insight into their social and leadership styles. This led to an action plan for embracing non-positional leadership.

Professional Development: Workshops included: Creating a Shared Vision by Dr. Emilio Pack; Managing Your Manager by Dr. William McClinton; Enhancing Your Emotional Intelligence by Melissa King; Mandatory Medical Reporting Requirements by Dr. Marvin Jackson; Financial Development by Randy Outhouse; Conflict Management and Coaching by Victoria Frank and Kelly Boodell; Human Resources by Liz Dayan and Lamont Virgil; and Standards by Ramone Crowe.

On Wednesday evening, attendees enjoyed a beautiful sunset cruise on Lake Michigan aboard the Mystic Blue.

The awards banquet was filled with positive emotion and great expectations for the future as speakers gave their testimonies of the impact of aviation in their lives. In addition to those who received a special recognition or achievement award, Dorothy Davis – Bessie Coleman award; Faith Downes – Manager’s award for Special performance in EEO Award; Dina Jimenez Earl – Eleanor J. Williams Bronze Eagle Award; Ezekiel Jenkins – EEO Achievement Award; Tammera L. Holmes – Chief C. Alfred Anderson Award; Rick Jones – Ronald E. McNair Award.

To join or learn more about what NBCFAE is doing in your community, please visit nbcfae.org

By Dr. Willis H. Thomas
Jackson Advocate Contributing Writer