December 13, 2018
Over one hundred Granbury High School students learned about career opportunities on a tour of Southwest Airlines’ headquarters in Dallas on December 12, 2018.
Students represented a variety of classes, including aviation, engineering, and automotive mechanics. With sessions led by a large contingent of Southwest staff, the group learned about the expectations of employees in different positions as well as the education, certifications, and training required for those jobs.
The tour included an opening presentation on “The Southwest WAY,” the company’s well-regarded priority for both customers and employees, who are encouraged “to have a Warrior Spirit, a Servant's Heart, and a Fun-LUVing Attitude.”
Later, specific groups toured various facilities at the headquarters. These included: Network Operations Control, which involved dispatch communication with flight crews as well as meteorology; Tech Ops hangar, where planes in the 737-only fleet receive repairs and maintenance; and training facilities for pilots for flight simulation, flight attendants for safety preparation, and even ticket counter personnel for customer service training.
“I believe it opened the eyes of many of our students to possibilities and dreams that they haven’t thought of,” stated Mark Kirk, who teaches aerospace engineering and aviation science at the high school.
Randy Turner, Chief Pilot Network Operations Control, who lives in Tolar and is active in several community activities in Hood County, facilitated the visit.
“We are always honored to showcase the many different jobs and career fields in aviation to students as they begin thinking about their future careers,” said Turner. “By opening our doors to today’s teens, we hope to inspire them follow their dreams into the aviation world. These tours, especially with Granbury ISD, are often the key to get a student interested in a specific career field.”
“We are incredibly thankful to Randy Turner and his team at Southwest Airlines for the incredible hospitality to our students,” commented GISD career and technical education director Judy Gentry. “This visit solidifies the foundations in engineering, aerospace, aviation, and automotive maintenance our students learn at GHS. Our hope is to strengthen our engineering and aerospace programs while expanding our aviation and automotive maintenance classes to include aviation maintenance and technology.”
In its 48th year of service, Dallas-based Southwest Airlines continues to differentiate itself from other air carriers with exemplary customer service delivered by more than 58,000 employees to a customer base topping 120 million passengers annually. Southwest became the nation's largest domestic air carrier in 2003 and maintains that ranking based on the U.S. Department of Transportation's most recent reporting of domestic originating passengers boarded. In peak travel seasons, Southwest operates more than 4,000 weekday departures among a network of 99 destinations in the United States and ten additional countries.