Savannahian at the Helm of Black Aviators

NAI member Nathaniel Callender and. Sam L. Jones
NAI member Nathaniel Callender and. Sam L. Jones

The Negro Airmen International. Inc. (NAI) Black Wings in Action will hold a media conference and networking luncheon on Saturday September 24, 2016, at 1:00 PM, at Frankís in The Old Mill, at 1095 Highway 54W, in Fayetteville, GA 30214.

Officers, members, supporters and former NAI training program participants will be on hand to reveal plans to continue the organizationís purpose and record of community service in assisting youth and minorities in exploring and entering the vast array of careers and jobs in the aviation industry.

Native Savannahian Sam L. Jones, Jr. is President of NAI, Inc. He is a 1971 graduate of Tompkins High School, and a twoterm former president of the Frank Callen Boys and Girls Club Alumni Association. According to Jones, NAIís September 24th activity will also serve as a rallying of the troops and other prospects to gather and organize members, financial, human resources, corporate and community partnerships and support to move forward with a plan to continue one of the organizationís most successful and rewarding programs: NAIís New Hope Project, created in 2004. The Marion Deaver and the Harry Gilbert Deaver Foundation awarded NAI a grant in the amount of $1.2 million to provide flight training to inner city young adults who lacked funds to attend private flight schools. This was a first-ever-of-itskind project. It served as proof of a concept to allow the creation and operation of such projects elsewhere in the country. The Foundation also provided $400,000 additional funds to purchase several aircrafts and to pay for one-half of the operating expenses for an initial 3 O year period. The funds from the foundation were used to create Project New Hope, a flight training program, in southeast Florida. NAI successfully trained over 80 students many of whom are employed in the industry today. Presently, officers are exploring locations in the Atlanta Metropolitan area to continue its programs under the title ìOperation Skyhook Atlantaî.

At the media conference and networking luncheon, NAI will reveal how, through ìOperation Skyhook Atlanta,î the organization plans to play a leadership role addressing expert predictions of workforce shortages in the Aviation Industry, and in increasing the awareness of youths and young adults in middle schools, high schools and technical programs and colleges to the opportunities available in the aviation industry. With the support of the community, this will certainly be a win-win for the young people as well as the public at large. Young adults will be trained for jobs that pay excellent salaries. Too, the publicís image of and confidence in qualified personnel to serve in the industry is of even greater importance as the number of air travelers increases and the focus on safety and security elevates.

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