Sun 'n Fun

Dreams Soar Launching Career-building Hub

 - March 27, 2023, 5:41 PM
Shaesta Waiz said efforts have been made to inspire people to enter the aviation industry, but there hasn't been the tools and infrastructure to support them after that point. She is hoping to help provide those tools through The Hub. (Photo: Dreams Soar)

Shaesta Waiz’s Dreams Soar nonprofit organization unveiled an aviation career-building resource, The Hub, which will serve as a venue for comprehensive workforce tools from educating about the industry to providing a professional service ecosystem.

Waiz, known for her historic solo flight around the world, established Dreams Soar in 2016 to “inspire, connect, and empower” aviation industry professionals. Calling The Hub the next phase in its mission, Dreams Soar has launched a Talent Pledge and formed an industry advisory board to support the development of the venture, which is anticipated to launch later this year.

"Having met more than 25,000 children through Dreams Soar's participation in more than 60 outreach events, we realized that inspiring young people to get involved in aviation was the relatively easy part,” Waiz said. “The challenge would come after inspired students began wanting to learn more and get connected. Of the students we’ve inspired, we haven’t had the infrastructure to measure their progress or provide them with the tools we knew they needed to succeed. So, we’ve decided to build it."

Working with strategic partners and communities, Dreams Soar will roll out various segments to support different stages of a career as The Hub continues to scale.

The first stage will provide resources to enable students, parents, and educators to discover career opportunities available. A second will be to serve as a venue for companies to recruit, hire, train, and retain. “Finally, we want to attract and empower professional career service providers around the industry by providing an ecosystem to exist in. This is what will move the industry forward,” said Dreams Soar COO Michael Wildes.

Dreams Soar established the advisory board to bring in expertise throughout the industry as it develops The Hub, including members from academia, the FAA, NBAA, GAMA, and various companies and other organizations. JSSI chairman emeritus Louis Seno is chairing the board of directors.

Meanwhile, the Talent Pledge is a means for industry participation and represents a formal commitment on the part of Dreams Soar to build and sustain The Hub. “Joining the pledge represents a commitment to reducing learning and hiring gaps by 1 percent each year through regular reports documented on The Hub, workforce barrier elimination, and best hiring efforts,” Waiz said. Participating companies will be able to access The Hub through the pledge.