Former Independence Air employees enter marketplace

Former Independence Air employees enter marketplace is widely recognized as an Aviation Employment Services leader.

Former Independence Air employees enter marketplace
By George Gill

Although Independence Air's final flights landed last Thursday, a job fair at parent company Flyi Inc.'s headquarters in Dulles kept hopes aloft for former employees hoping to find a new job quickly.

Hundreds of suddenly jobless workers – from pilots to baggage handlers – came face to face with officials from the Virginia Employment Commission and dozens of employers last Friday.

The event was "completely organic" in the wake of the company's announcement Jan. 2 that it was closing, said Laura Thornton, Flyi's employee communications specialist.

Audrey Muhammad, left, of Adamstown, Md., a former customer advocacy specialist at Independence Air, talks with Michael Amiri, right, of IntelliDyne, at the job fair at the Independence Air headquarters in Sterling Friday.
Career, job search resources
  • Virginia Employment Commission services page:
  • Loudoun Workforce Resource Center, in the Shenandoah Building, 102 Heritage Way, NE #200, Leesburg. Phone: 703-777-0150.
  • Resume faxing: Charles Partley, owner of The UPS Store at 525K E. Market St., Leesburg, said he is offering to fax resumes for Independence Air workers for free (normally about a $1.50 service).
  • All former Independence Air workers are eligible for free Avjobs Cares Re-Employment Services, offered by national aviation job search site Details online at

“We started receiving calls from all over, both local and nationwide, wanting to help,” Thornton said. “I think it was more that people enjoyed Independence Air, appreciated who we are and figured our employees are a nice catch.”

She said the fair attracted about 50 employers. “More were begging to get in, and we ran out of space,” she said. Hundreds of employees came out, and “some were hired on the spot,” she said.

Robert Steindler, director of employee services for Flyi Inc., said employers covered the gamut of white-collar and blue-collar jobs, from major and regional airlines to job placement agencies to IT firms to Budweiser. “It was great how many people wanted to give something to help our employees to file unemployment claims or to find another job.”

Steindler said information on companies at the fair was added to the company's intranet. There are 75 firms on the list.

Steindler is part of Flyi's “wind down team,” a group of about 180 employees asked to stay on from several weeks to several months.

He said another good thing for former employees is that the bankruptcy court has approved Flyi's petition to extend health care benefits to former employees for 60 days.

Janis Chamblin, division manager for Loudoun County Career Support Services and head of The Loudoun Workforce Resource Center, was at the job fair along with Virginia Employment Commission officials. Chamblin said she spoke with about 150 employees over about a 2 1/2-half hour period.

“Most employees were interested in accessing some type of training,” she said. “Some were applying for unemployment benefits.”

She said many employees who live outside of Virginia asked whether they should apply for unemployment benefits in their home state or in Virginia. Chamblin said they may apply for unemployment benefits in either state.

Chamblin said one pilot she talked to had grown tired of being laid off as a pilot and was looking into entering the home building business.

A mechanic she met with had been laid off three times over a five- to seven-year period and had decided to get out of the industry, she said.

Many of the employees she talked to had decided to move out of the area.

Ross Lipscomb, a pilot with Atlantic Coast Airlines and Independence Air for 10 years, was heading to California for an interview with a corporate jet operation based in Wilmington, Del., his mother, Gloria, said.

Brian Lloyd, a former Independence Air crew scheduler, said quite a few airlines were hiring at the fair but were primarily from out of the area and would require relocation. Lloyd said he and his wife have all their family in the Northern Virginia area and have no interest in moving. He said he had last week been able to get an interview with a local airline, but several others had applied for the job as well and it went to someone else.

Tim Lahey, president of Littleton, Colo.-based aviation employment services company, said that, depending on the position, other neighboring airlines usually are happy to pick up some of the former employees of defunct airlines. Besides having a proven track record with their previous airline, the former employees also usually have current security clearances and require less training.

He said his site offers a “Cares” program for displaced aviation workers. Lahey said several former Independence Air employees have enrolled in the program, which provides six months free access to the site's applicant system.
Contact the reporter at

Big Job Boards - No Win Situation for Aviation Industry Applicants

Aviation Jobs PO Box 630830
Littleton, CO

Press Release


Tahna Stanley
Director of Sales & Marketing
Avjobs, Inc.

Big Job Boards - No Win Situation for Aviation Industry Applicants

LITTLETON, CO (January 3, 2006) – More and more aviation industry applicants are finding success through, the leading job site serving commercial, corporate and general aviation, than with the big job boards. proves to be the superior choice for applicants who want to be seen, contacted and hired by key industry employers.

The recent launch of their innovative Applicant System is exactly what industry applicants need to find jobs, prepare for and get interviews, and obtain employment in the aviation industry.  “Our new Applicant System plays a significant role in strengthening the success rate ofAvjobs applicants finding a new career.” comments President/CEO Tim Lahey.  “This is a very exciting time for our company as we expand our line of services to better serve our customers.  In addition to providing industry specific job vacancies, we offer countless tools that save our applicants time and money while finding a position in this dynamic industry.”  He continues.

Competition can be fierce.  That’s why Avjobs’ new interface offers the most comprehensive technology in the aviation recruiting industry.  Numerous features were built-in that cannot be found anywhere else, providing applicants with tools they need for a successful job search.  These tools give Avjobs members a competitive advantage over other applicants and applicants can immediately begin viewing jobs and applying after registering with the site.

Applicant reviews have been great.  “There is not a job site that comes close to measuring up to what Avjobs offers in its new Applicant System,” states Craig Carson, an active industry job seeker and A&P Mechanic.  “The interface is user friendly and gave me exactly what I’m looking for; guidance and lots of job opportunities with the industries top employers.”  As candidates like Craig use in search of employment, they will undoubtedly find success with one of the 8,000+ key industry employers and recruiters using the site to recruit applicants.

This is a very exciting time for the company and its applicants as they build their brand and uphold their mark as The Leading Aviation Job Site.  Clearly, will continue to be the place “Where Employers & Employees Come to Meet”.


Where Employers & Employees Come to Meet!

Ramp Rats: Who's Working the Ramp Today?

Ramp Rats: Who's Working the Ramp Today? is widely recognized as an Aviation Employment Services leader.

Ground Support Magazine
Updated: December 8th, 2005 04:55 PM EDT

Ramp Rats: Who's Working the Ramp Today?
link to the original article

By Brian McNair
Ground Support Magazine Contributor

Most airline passengers only get to see their bags being moved on the ramp but if you watch closely then you will see that this is only the smallest part of ramp work. Safely handling the needs of a multi-million dollar aircraft and its passengers takes professionalism and dedication. From extreme heat in the summer to the dangers of ice and snow on the ramp in winter, the job is never boring. Jet engines and spinning propellers are always around you, so you must keep alert to be safe. It takes a special kind of person to earn a living in this kind of environment. Here are a few ramp professionals from Toronto's Pearson and Hamilton's Munro Airports.

From One Generation to the Next

Rob Davidson has been at the Hamilton Airport for 20 years. He is the line crew supervisor for Marsh Brothers Esso Avitat and he is also the reason that many pilots go out of their way to return time and again. Davidson's smiling face, warm welcome and superior customer service set him apart as a company representative and team leader.

You only have to spend a few minutes around Rob to see why he is so good at what he does. He puts 100 percent into everything he does and he expects the same from those around him. But he makes it fun, it doesn't feel like work when he's around. You can tell he really enjoys the ramp and his enthusiasm is contagious.

Christine Brown is a 24-year-old ramp lead working for GlobeGround at Toronto's Pearson International Airport. She has been on the ramp for about 1 ? years and has been a lead for the past nine months. Her crew handles the big commercial jets and her responsibilities are different from the smaller FBO's that handle business aviation.

There is a lot of work to be done in a short time. Bags, water and lavs, ground power and finally safe pushback and engine starts must all be completed in 30 minutes. Her job requires not only knowledge of the aircraft but also good people management skills. Team work is essential in this kind of ramp work. Delays are costly and not tolerated by airlines or passengers.

Brian Henderson is a 21-year-old ramp agent who also works for GlobeGround at Pearson Airport. He has also worked the ramp for 1 1/2 years and has passed his qualification to be a lead. It's easy to spot Henderson on the ramp, due in large part to his bright orange Mohawk hair cut. But don't let the hair fool you, Henderson is every bit the ramp professional he needs to be, to get the job done.

Hiring for the Ramp

Anyone who has spent any time at all on the ramp at a busy international airport will know that it takes a special kind of person to do the job. Ground service companies are constantly searching for new employees to fill the void left by workers that have moved on. It is estimated that less than 40 percent of the new workers will stay with the company after the first few months.

Airlines, with record high operating costs, are only willing to pay so much for ground services, and this directly effects the pay and benefits that the ground service companies can offer to their workers.

Take a quick look around the ramp and you will see the average ramp worker is under 25 years of age. These young people generally don't have any ramp experience and are just looking for steady work and a new experience. Many soon realize that the ramp is not for them.

Just getting the job can be difficult. There are police security checks, ramp driver's license exams, security passes, aircraft safety courses, drug tests, personal history checks and constant supervision.

Some of the younger ramp workers have other qualifications such as pilot, air traffic controller or apprentice aircraft mechanic. After graduating their courses they can't find work so they join the ramp crew to get their security clearances and to shop around for a better job at the airport. Most young ramp workers don't consider it a career, but rather a stepping stone.

Unfortunately the constant recruiting and training of new employees is contributing to overall operating costs and limiting the pay and benefits that ground service companies can provide. The challenge for ground service operators is to find a way to keep good employees from leaving.

Pay incentives, promotions to leadership rolls, monthly moral boosting contests, teamwork building exercises, friendly and concerned management, these are a few strategies that can be employed by companies to help keep their young work force interested and focused on their jobs.

Compare the cost of training a new employee to the cost of starting incentive based programs to help keep the workers you have. Get them involved in the decisions that directly affect their working conditions. Empower your employees and you may find that they will work with you instead of for you.

Honoring our Ramp Workers

If you have a co-worker or employee that you would like to tell us about, someone who stands out and should be recognized. Then take some photos and write a few paragraphs about them and send it to us here at Ground Support Magazine. We would be happy to pass on a well deserved pat on the back. We started in southern Ontario Canada now lets see where this takes us. It's time to sound off and stand proud of the work we do every day to keep aircraft and passengers moving.

The following information was taken from, the leading aviation & airline job site, founded in 1988 to ?Help People Get Jobs.?

The airline industry is a young industry and it attracts youth. The Occupational Outlook Handbook groups baggage handlers in the category of handlers, equipment cleaners helpers and laborers and are part of a very important work crew team. In the US, 1,737,000 people work in those fields. Below are the major aspects of the job:

  • Lift heavy luggage, mail sacks and fasten freight under pressure and time
  • Operate trucks, forklifts, baggage carts and conveyors to load aircraft in a safe and cautious manner
  • Almost all work is done outdoors on noisy, crowded ramps in all kinds of weather
  • Uniforms are required for security purposes
  • Requires a varying work schedule, must be available to work day, evening, night and weekend shifts
  • Safety is an important part of all grounds crew, must be attentive at all times to surroundings, there is little room for error
  • Training is usually done on the job
  • The average starting salary is typically $8.50 per hour and can top out at approximately $20.00 per hour
  • The average full-time hourly wage is $13.03 according to the Occupational Outlook Handbook
  • There are regular openings in this field at the entry level
  • New workers replace those who have advanced to other jobs or who have retired

Given the above facts, it is readily apparent why there is a fair amount of attrition in the ground handling industry, particularly among ramp workers. Clearly, it takes a certain type of individual and strength of character to be a part of "the crew."

Delta Workers Face Uncertain Future

Get Hired FASTER with Delta Workers Face Uncertain Future is widely recognized as an Aviation Employment Services leader.

Posted on Sun, Sep. 19, 2004

Delta Workers Face Uncertain Future
By Andrea Ahles, Star-Telegram Staff Writer

When Mike Pizzelanti lost his job as a pilot for Vanguard Airlines in June 2002, he didn't know what to do.

"I was devastated," the Grapevine resident said. "I thought, 'What am I going to fall back on?' "

After five months without a job, Pizzelanti opened his own business, a pet crematory in Euless called All Paws Go To Heaven. He said it was a tough choice for someone who loves flying but needed financial stability for his wife and 9-year-old daughter.

That may soon become a common dilemma facing hundreds of Delta Air Lines workers who will be laid off in coming weeks as the airline eliminates its hub operations at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport.

The Atlanta-based airline announced two weeks ago that it would lay off 900 local workers and offer transfers to 2,700 others as it cuts its daily flights out of D/FW to 21 from 254. It is unlikely that many of the affected Delta employees will find comparable work in the Metroplex's uncertain job market, experts say.

"Aviation is a mobile industry," said Tim Lahey, customer service manager at, a Website that lists jobs in the aviation industry. "You may find a job in your local area, but generally speaking, most people will have to move for work."

The site has more than 4,000 jobs posted in its system, but most are on the East or West coasts, Lahey said. Only 150 job postings are for positions in Texas, he said.

The state's air transportation industry has steadily shed jobs since 9-11. Texas lost 12,700 jobs in the air transportation sector as of the end of last year. About 7,900 of those jobs were in the Fort Worth-Arlington area.

Limous Walker, a rapid response manager at Tarrant County's Workforce Solutions, said his agency will hold informational sessions this week to outline options for affected Delta employees. Workforce Solutions will also hold a job fair for displaced workers, set for January.

"The job skills, in many cases, can be used in another industry," Walker said. "For example, customer service for airlines can be customer service at another company."

Many airline workers used that idea to hedge their bets after job cuts at American Airlines accelerated last year.

Euless resident Gina Stevens-Growden decided to go back to school when she was furloughed Sept. 1 from her flight attendant job at Champion Air, a Minneapolis-based charter airline. Stevens-Growden, who also flew previously for Southwest Airlines and ASA, had been attending classes part time at the University of Texas at Arlington toward a bachelor's degree in psychology. She began taking classes full time after she lost her job.

Eventually, she said, she wants to go into private counseling so she and her husband, who works as a gate agent for Delta, do not have to rely on the uncertain airline industry.

"The airline industry is constantly in flux. I would like to have a little more stability in a profession," Stevens-Growden said. "Plus, we don't want to put all of our eggs in one basket."

Her husband has more than 20 years with Delta, so the couple are not overly concerned that he will lose his job when the airline reduces its D/FW schedule. But Stevens-Growden hopes her move into a new profession will make it easier for their family to deal with the ups and downs of the airline industry.

Some experts say Delta's flight cutbacks at D/FW will prompt other airlines to enter the local market, providing new opportunities for laid-off airline workers in North Texas.

"As other airlines increase their flights from D/FW and hire more people, I think that will mitigate some of the losses," said Rakesh Shankar, an economist at

American Airlines said last month that it is adding 70 daily flights to its D/FW operations. But it is unlikely that the Fort Worth carrier will hire any new workers because it has thousands of furloughed workers waiting to return to flight duty.

No other airlines have announced expansion plans at local airports. Southwest spokeswoman Melanie Jones said the Dallas-based carrier is "not in a hiring mode" and is filling most vacant positions from within the company.

Pizzelanti, who spent 16 years as a pilot, does not have any plans to return to the aviation industry because his pet cremation business has taken off.

"I do miss flying, of course, because you're always a pilot in your heart," Pizzelanti said. "But I have to look at being able to support my family, and I find my new business very rewarding."


Local aviation workers

The number of local workers in the air transportation sector has declined since 2000.

  Dec. Dec. Dec. Dec. July
  2000 2001 2002 2003 2004
Texas 78,300 70,900 69,600 65,600 66,300
Fort Worth 38,100 33,900 32,700 30,200 30,400

Arlington MSA

SOURCE: Texas Workforce Commission

US Airways Still Hiring

Get Hired FASTER with US Airways Still Hiring is widely recognized as an Aviation Employment Services leader. 

September 1, 2004

Still Hiring

For those still keen on working for an airline, Avjobs ( has good news: The Website catering to the airline industry has more more jobs available. US Airways is hiring for 260 jobs, many with its lower-wage commuter affiliates, according to the site. Most jobs are in Virginia, but they're also in Maine, New York and Florida.  There's one in Charlotte: administrative assistant.

US Airways has high turnover, said spokesman David Castelveter. "Our employees are being recruited away to companies that can pay them more money," he said.

Aviation analyst Robert Mann said it's normal for US Airways to be hiring for the commuter carriers. Ideally, employees are hired at the regional carriers and "flow through" to the main line. Not these days.

"For the last four years, it's been mostly flow back," Mann said.

Friends and neighbors

Amid the uncertainty, flight attendant couple Jeff and Sherry Battreall are finding comfort in a place close to home: their cul-de-sac.

"With these pay cuts, we can't afford to have a watering hole," Jeff Battreall said. "We lay low."

Today, the north Mecklenburg couple juggle second jobs: Sherry, 34, as a part-time waitress at a Bob Evans restaurant and Jeff, 41, working for a friend (and former co-worker) who does landscaping.

What helps, he says, is neighbors in their Highland Creek community. They cut the lawn when the couple is away on trips, feed their cats, and invite the couple over for burgers.

"It helps when your neighbors are your best friends," Jeff said.

US Airways Forum

Share your thoughts and opinions about US Airways in a readers' forum at www.charlotte. com/business.

If you do business with US Airways, we want to hear from you. Contact Kerry Hall at (704) 358-5085; khall@

Avjobs, Inc. - Provides Results and Success

Get Hired FASTER with Avjobs, Inc. - Provides Results and Success is widely recognized as an Aviation Employment Services leader.


Tahna Stanley
Director of Sales & Marketing
Avjobs, Inc.

Avjobs, Inc. - Provides Results and Success

LITTLETON, CO (August 13, 2004) – Colorado based Avjobs, Inc. continues to uphold the lead among niche aviation employment websites. is a mature site that is well recognized for its strong presence in the aviation and aerospace industry. The Web site draws aviation job seekers and employers from all phases of aviation and provides them with the necessary tools to achieve success.

With 45% of visitors being return visitors, these loyal customers are seeing the value Avjobs provides and are recommending that co-workers and friends visit the site too. The combination of high repeat visits and word-of-mouth referral traffic is proof that our services provide results and success. Today, thousands of companies and job seekers find that Avjobs is the key resource where employers and employees come to meet. These numbers firmly establish Avjobs as the dominant online employment resource in the aviation industry. greets visitors with professional site design, offers essential tools to job seekers and employers, and makes finding jobs and qualified candidates simple. In today’s aviation job market, landing a position is easy with the right tools. That’s why we further educate our visitors and provide them with the information they need to know giving them a competitive edge over their competition. Job seekers can access fresh job postings in 13 categories, build a resume, polish their interview skills, research careers and companies, view news and updates, search educational facilities and more. Employers put the power of Avjobs behind their hiring efforts to reach a high quality, industry specific audience and find qualified candidates. They reduce the time and money it takes to fill vacant positions by posting job availability and searching resumes.

The continued support Avjobs receives and generates in the aviation community is proof we are able to provide many exciting opportunities for employment and change the lives of aviation job seekers everywhere. Our success drives more visitors to our site every day to assist them with their aviation employment needs.

As the aviation industry continues to gain strength, you can bet that Avjobs will promise to uphold its lead and produce unbeatable, successful results for its visitors. Now as ever, we are focused on providing the career tools, resources and services necessary for our visitors to achieve success.