Many companies lament the skills shortage, but what are they doing about it? Southwest Airlines has one answer to address the shortage over the long term: It has developed a three-day camp for employees’ high-school age children to introduce them to the various careers the company has to offer in order to help guide their educational choices.
“We have 9,000 employee dependents between the ages of 15 to 18,” says Greg Muccio, who heads the airline’s people department. “We have a great culture, so we don’t have to sell it to this group, but they typically only know what their mom or dad does. This was a way to introduce them to the world of work at SWA and immerse them in the other career options available to them.”
The program was deemed a success from the first day, with parents reporting to Muccio their childrens’ enthusiasm. And at the end, “most of the kids admitted they were forced to go by their parents or had low expectations. “All of them wanted to come back next year and wanted it to be longer,” he says. “Music to my ears.”
While the company does plan to hold such an event again next year, Muccio says specifics aren’t certain. “I’ve been asked to go younger, do more than one, open it up to non-dependents,” he says. With so many options for us to consider, I’m hoping it can grow year to year.”
To read more about the event, go to this story by Dallas News.