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EDUCATION: Boeing Executives Brief Students at Aviation Forum


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Boeing joins airline execs and university staff to talk about future opportunities in aerospace
The African aviation market is growing, creating a need for qualified African professionals to help meet the growth requirements, J. Miguel Santos, Sales director for the South African region for Boeing Commercial Airplanes, told students recently in Johannesburg, South Africa.

"Increased demand for tourism and trade in the region is driving air traffic demand above the international average," Santos said, "and it is students like you here today that will help Africa prepare for and meet that demand."

Santos was speaking as part of a panel presentation at the Aviation and Business Forum at Witwatersrand University. Boeing co-sponsored the event with the university and the National Aerospace Centre. Santos talked with the students about the African aviation market over the next 20 years as well as Boeing's product strategy to address increasing aviation demands around the world.

"Boeing has a long history of successful partnerships with African airlines as well as African businesses," said Santos. "We are currently working with 15 African suppliers and 90 African airlines. We know the continent, customers and needs, and our product line and strategy is a great match for those needs."

Roei Ganzarski, Chief Customer Officer, Training and Flight Services for Boeing's Commercial Aviation Services, also participated in the panel discussion. He noted that the aviation industry is broader than building and selling airplanes and will need more skilled pilots and technicians to ensure a safe and efficient air transport system.

"The industry needs bright, passionate, talented individuals from across the globe to start their careers in this rapidly growing business," said Ganzarski.

Santos also announced that Boeing is opening up its summer internship program to African universities. Ron Hunter, Customer Account manager for Africa for Commercial Airplanes, suggested to Boeing Commercial Airplane's African Sales team that select African universities be included in Boeing's existing internship program. Hunter then worked with Boeing's Global Staffing and internship coordinators to pull together the necessary details.

Through this program, Boeing will select outstanding students to take part in summer internships in the United States. They will work in a range of positions such as engineering, finance or project management. Boeing will work with universities over the next several months to select universities that meet program requirements and have educational programs that align with Boeing's business objectives.

Ganzarski also shared with the new generation of students that "the aviation industry of today, and moreover tomorrow, has no geographical or political boundaries and is the essence of global business. Additionally, it is very technologically driven and requires the same skills and offers the same opportunities as one might find at today's Google or Microsoft."

Also on the panel were Rudolph Louw, director, National Aerospace Center; Tebello Mokhema, group Manager for Training and Development, Airports Company South Africa; Professor Beatrys Lacquet, dean of Engineering and Builld Environment at Witwatersrand University; and Barry Parsons, head of Group Strategy for South African Airways.

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