The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority began a month-long event series for airport employees and passengers in celebration of Black History Month. The schedule includes a seminar highlighting diversity networking opportunities, recruitment efforts and supplier development initiatives as well as weekly musical performances celebrating unique cultural contributions of the African American community.
“Diversity and inclusion are among the Airports Authority’s core values,” said Airports Authority Executive Vice President and Chief Revenue Officer Jerome L. Davis. “We recognize that a diverse workforce is vital to innovate, transform and deliver an unparalleled experience for our passengers. Our aim throughout February is to celebrate the ongoing contributions of African Americans while showcasing the resources, career development opportunities and supplier programs we provide to all individuals and businesses.”
Beginning February 2, the Airports Authority will host African American musicians weekly at both airports on Thursdays from 10 a.m. to noon in National Hall at Reagan National Airport and from 2 to 4 p.m. in the Terminal on the ticketing level at Dulles International Airport. Performers include the Heritage Village Drum Ensemble, saxophonist Merlon Devine, pianist Ricardo White and hip-hop artist Drisco. A full schedule and livestreams of performances are available online.
The Airports Authority Black History Month series will conclude on Tuesday, February 28, with a networking session and seminar on recruitment and supplier diversity programs for more than 80 local students, African American business owners and community leaders. Attendees will have the opportunity to meet with and learn from Airports Authority Human Resources and Supplier Diversity representatives while discussing a range of topics, including how to qualify and bid for contracts as a minority business or disadvantaged business enterprise and how to apply for employment.
Ongoing Airports Authority diversity employment efforts incorporate recruitment and outreach at regional job fairs with special emphasis on professional apprenticeship and management intern programs that provide career development pathways for students and recent graduates. Partner schools for recruitment include Howard University, Northern Virginia Community College, the University of the District of Columbia and The George Washington University. Additionally, 21 percent of Airports Authority contracts in 2016 were awarded to small and minority owned businesses—totaling more than $183 million.
The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority operates Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, Washington Dulles International Airport, the Dulles Airport Access Highway and the Dulles Toll Road and also manages construction of the Silver Line project, a 23-mile extension of the Washington region’s Metrorail public transit system through Fairfax County and into Loudoun County, Virginia. More than 44 million passengers a year pass through the two airports. The Airports Authority generates more than 387,000 jobs in the National Capital Region.