Industry and Marketing Research. There is much to be learned from professional and trade associations.
Founded in 1976, the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the encouragement and advancement of minorities in all aviation and aerospace careers. OBAP members encourage diversity in the industry by supporting aspiring aviation professionals through Project Aerospace, a series of scholarships, mentoring, training, and youth-focused education programs. In 1976 Ben Thomas, a young African American pilot with Eastern Airlines, spearheaded an effort to form a permanent body to address discrimination in the airline industry. He invited thirty-seven African American pilots, representing nearly 50% of the industry total at the time, to convene at O-Hare Hilton Hotel in Chicago on September 17 and 18. The Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals (OBAP), then called The Organization of Black Airline Pilots, was formed as a result of that collaborative meeting with a focus on preparing youth and young adults to realize successful careers in aviation.
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