Auburn University helps 20 pilots land jobs through partnership with Delta Air Lines
AUBURN, Alabama (WRBL) – Auburn University is helping twenty aviation students receive job offers through a partnership with Delta Air Lines.
The student group is part of a highly selective program called Delta Propel. It offers its participants a Skilled Job Opportunity, QJO, which gives them the opportunity to become a Delta pilot in an accelerated time frame. With 20 students this year, the number of those who have received job offers since the start of the program has almost doubled.
Among those students is professional flight major Blake Adkins, who grew up near Delta’s Atlanta headquarters. The program, which is only offered at 13 other universities, solidified her decision to attend Auburn.
“Growing up, I always dreamed of being a Delta pilot,” Adkins said. “When Auburn started the partnership with Delta, I was in high school. I knew coming to Auburn would give me the best opportunity to see my dream come true.
Auburn and Delta have a longstanding relationship that has benefited students for years. In 2018, Auburn received $6.2 million from Delta Air Lines, the Delta Air Lines Foundation, and the Jacobson Family Foundation to help support several programs in Auburn. The donation funded the construction of the Delta Air Lines Aviation Education Building, which now houses the Department of Aviation. He also funded the purchase of an airplane simulator and created endowed professorships in the Department of Aviation. In addition to the grant, Auburn was selected for the Delta Propel program in 2018.
“We are proud to partner with exceptional universities like Auburn across the country to give aspiring pilots a clear and defined path to a Delta flight deck,” said Patrick Burns, vice president of flight operations and pilot in system manager at Delta. “We look forward to welcoming even more Tigers to our Delta family as we continue to bring the best aviators in the world to the best airline in the world.”
In addition to the qualified job offer, students in the program also benefit from leadership development and personal mentorship from active Delta pilots.
“The College of Liberal Arts’ commitment to student excellence includes preparing our students for success during and after their time at Auburn,” said Ana Franco-Watkins, Acting Dean. “The partnership between Auburn and Delta is proof of the work being done at Auburn to ensure a bright future for our students.”
One of the nation’s oldest aviation programs, Auburn Aviation offers the latest in-classroom and cockpit training. It is this training that Adkins
credits for making him a competitive candidate for the Propel program and for a previous internship at Delta.
“The Department of Aviation’s incredible leadership opportunities and faculty have helped prepare me for this next step,” Adkins said.
“Our partnership with Delta is a game-changer for Auburn Aviation,” said department manager James Witte. “In addition to providing career opportunities for our students, the resources provided by Delta and the Delta Air Lines Foundation ensure that our students receive world-class aviation education.”