The BETA Alia simulator. Courtesy BETA.
Vermont Business Magazine Vermont Technical College has launched a provisional chapter of Women in Aviation International in partnership with Beta Technologies and Vermont Flight Academy. The new community provides a professional networking space to students and graduates of Vermont Tech’s Professional Pilot Technology Program as well as the broader Vermont aviation community. It is the first such chapter in Vermont and one of few in New England. The chapter’s first meeting took place on Friday, March 25 at BETA Technologies.
The Vermont chapter is open to anyone interested in the field of aviation, from high school students to college students to alumni to professionals in roles ranging from pilots to flight instructors, aeronautical mechanics, and aeronautical engineers, reflecting the broad range of professional roles in the industry.
“We are excited to open up more opportunities for women looking to pursue a career in the airline industry,” said Robin Guillian, program director for the Professional Pilot Technology Program at Vermont Tech and a former airline pilot. “Now, if you are a Vermont girl into airplanes and you want to fly with a woman, you can find a connection to do that. If you are interested in being a seaplane pilot, you can connect with women who do that. The possibilities for connection are exciting.”
“Flying helps develop a really meaningful skill set, whether it’s for growing confidence, having fun, or building a career,” said Willa Clark, a team member at BETA Technologies and founding member of the chapter. “I remember the freedom and possibility I felt when I got my pilot’s license. At BETA, we’re always trying to create new opportunities and get different types of people to join this industry, so it’s exciting to be part of creating this Women in Aviation chapter that will encourage more women to pursue aviation.
The Vermont chapter will provide mentoring, scholarships, professional development opportunities, and networking events in-person and virtually. Resources will also be available for those pursuing a career in aviation. The membership cost is $35 for students, $45 for other members, and chapter dues are $15. The chapter is planning its first social gathering at a hangar space in the spring of 2022 and has plans to attend a national conference and upcoming air shows.
Vermont Tech’s Professional Pilot Technology Program is no stranger to community involvement. Vermont Tech is highly involved in STEM outreach for young women. In the past it has brought in an aviation simulator for many events (such as Women in Aviation Week), hosted a flight simulator experience for sixth graders, an aero camp, and partners with Burlington High School to host a 10-day aviation immersion experience for high school students.
Vermont Technical College has graduated 47 individuals from the Professional Pilot Technology Program since its inception in 2016, six of whom identify as women. Students who graduate from the program are typically hired as airline pilots within six months of graduation. Vermont Tech ranks #1 in Vermont and #7 nationally among public colleges for short- and long-term return on investment and has a 99% placement rate.
Learn more about our Professional Pilot Technology program.