CNX Mentorship Academy Visits PIT

By Bob Kerlik

Published May 26, 2023

Read Time: 2 mins


CNX and Pittsburgh International Airport have teamed up again, this time to provide opportunities for high school students from economically disadvantaged areas.

What’s happening: Nearly 20 area students toured the airport earlier this month and met with staff to discuss job opportunities and how the airport impacts the region.

    • The event was part of the CNX Mentorship Academy, an initiative of the CNX Foundation that provides job opportunities to youth from economically disadvantaged regional Appalachian communities. The program is designed for high school students who don’t plan to immediately attend a four-year college.
    • The students heard from Allegheny County Airport Authority CEO Christina Cassotis, CNX CEO Nick DeIuliis, and met airport employees in field maintenance, airline services, and facilities maintenance. They also viewed the new terminal construction site and received an airfield tour.

Why it matters: For many students, it was their first visit to the airport, and at the end of the tour, several shared their excitement at potentially finding an aviation-related job after graduation.

  • “I wanted to work in aviation ever since last year when I started watching YouTube videos on flight attendants, ramp agents, and other workers and operations that go on (at the airport),” said 12th-grader A’Layzia Kane, who is in her second year of the mentorship program.
  • The program has visited other facilities but Kane noted she was most looking forward to visiting the airport.

What they’re saying: “Our partnership with the airport, when you start to think about how it ties in with the Mentorship Academy, it’s one of those perfect fits. We are working together to manufacture more affordable and reliable energy for the region and for changing the transportation industry, but now we need all kinds of talented individuals to lead that effort for the next generation,” said Deluliis, who founded the Mentorship Academy in 2021.

  • “What I really hope academy students pick up is that there’s a lot of opportunity out here. We run like a city, so anything you can imagine doing, you can do here at the airport — and we’re always looking for people,” Cassotis said.
  • “I think it’s fantastic that CNX has taken a lead in this,” she added. “I really appreciate the work that they’re doing to show these kids what’s available. I’m thrilled to meet them, and I hope to see them again working out here.”
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