Vaughn College President Dr. Sharon B. DeVivo was appointed chair of the Department of Transportation’s Youth Access to American Jobs in Aviation Task Force (YIATF) in an announcement today by U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao. The objective of YIATF is to encourage high school students to pursue in-demand careers in aviation.

“We are at a pivotal moment to reach out and develop the next generation of aviation and aerospace leadership,” said DeVivo. “By bringing together a diverse group of industry and education leaders, we have a unique opportunity to create a set of recommendations that ensures a long-term pipeline of qualified talent while also prioritizing a pathway for traditionally underrepresented groups.”

The 20 task force members appointed by Secretary Chao represent a diverse range of backgrounds and expertise in aviation and education, including those from air carriers; aircraft, powerplant, and avionics manufacturers; aircraft repair stations; local educational agencies or high schools; and institutions of higher education, including four-year institutions like Vaughn, community colleges and aviation trade schools.

“We warmly welcome these task force members who share our commitment to encouraging young men and women to pursue aviation careers and identifying and developing pathways for them to enter the workforce,” said Chao.

YIATF will develop and provide independent recommendations and strategies to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to:

  • Facilitate and encourage high school students in the United States to enroll in and complete career and technical education courses, including science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM);
  • Facilitate and encourage these students to enroll in a course of study related to an aviation career, including aviation manufacturing, engineering and maintenance;
  • Identify and develop pathways for students to secure registered apprenticeships, workforce development programs, or careers in the aviation industry of the United States.

Dr. DeVivo has been with Vaughn College since 1996 and president since 2014. She is the seventh president of the institution and the first woman to hold that position. She is heavily involved in the aviation and education industries, serving on the board of The Wings Club, Cradle of Aviation Museum, Council for Higher Education Accreditation and International Aviation Women’s Association Advisory Board, among others. Her degrees include an associate from the University of Maryland in Munich, Germany, a bachelor’s from the State University of New York at Albany, a master’s from Fordham University and a doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania.

Vaughn was ranked as the number one institution in the nation in upward mobility – the best at moving students from the bottom 40 percent to the top 40 percent in income – in a 2017 study published in The New York Times. With its master’s, bachelor’s and associate degree programs, as well as its pre-college programs for middle and high school students, the institution has a long history of training qualified, passionate students for lifelong professional success in careers in engineering and technology, management and aviation. Ninety-nine percent of Vaughn graduates are employed or continue their education within one year of graduation, 83 percent in their field of study.