RAI Jets, LLC, a part 135 operator headquartered at Kalamazoo Battle Creek International Airport (KAZO), is pleased to announce the successful launch of a new internship program in conjunction with nearby Western Michigan University College of Aviation.
“We had been talking about starting an internship program to help aviation students get real-life, on-the-job experience for some time. With business booming, 2022 was the year to do it!” said Becky Riley-Bakeman, president of RAI Jets.
RAI Jets has a special connection with Western Michigan University. The RAI Jets director of operations, sales and marketing director, and the office manager are all alumni from the school, and the company has also employed WMU College of Aviation alumni as pilots and technicians. RAI Jets worked with Tom Thinnes, recruitment, marketing, and outreach manager at WMU’s College of Aviation to publicize the internship and recruit students.
“We are pleased to count an internship at RAI Jets among the opportunities we offer our students to engage with local aviation companies,” said Thinnes. “RAI Jets has been a strong supporter of Western Michigan University for years, and this internship program is a natural progression for building a symbiotic relationship between our organizations. The internship experience at RAI Jets will help prepare our students well for careers in aviation upon graduation.”
Two WMU interns are currently working at the RAI Jets headquarters at Kalamazoo/Battle Creek International Airport (KAZO) in Kalamazoo: one from the aviation flight school and one from the aviation technical operations program. One more intern from aviation technical operations will join the RAI Jets for the summer. All of the interns are receiving experience in line service, which is helping to clean and prepare the aircraft for flight. They also help with “wingwatching,” when the aircraft are moved.
“We are so fortunate to be located so closely to one of the country’s largest aviation schools and to be able to help each other in this way,” said Riley-Bakeman. “We look forward to a long-standing relationship between WMU aviation students with our internship program.”
RAI Jets will soon be recruiting interns for the fall term. For more information about their internship program, contact RAI Jets at (800) 247-2834 or the Western Michigan University College of Aviation at 269-964-6375.
About RAI Jets
RAI Jets LLC is a Kalamazoo, MI-based aviation specialist featuring aircraft management, jet charter, and aircraft maintenance services. The family-owned company officially opened in 2009, preceded by more than two decades of generational experience in aviation. For individuals and businesses, the Part 135 operator offers customized, jet charter for business or leisure, as well as turnkey management and aircraft maintenance for jet owners. RAI Jets operates its own fleet of aircraft for charter and offers jet owners (personal and corporate) the possibility of offsetting operating costs by adding their aircraft to RAI Jet’s FAA-approved Part 135 Air Carrier Certificate. RAI Jets also offers aircraft acquisition service and hangar space. For more information visit FlyRAI.com or call (800) 247-2834.
About Western Michigan University College of Aviation
The College of Aviation at Western Michigan University offers the only comprehensive aviation program at a public university in Michigan. With just over 1,100 undergraduate students, it is one of the largest aviation programs in the nation and is backed by 80 years of aviation experience and an excellent industry reputation. The college’s vision is to establish and maintain the most advanced training fleet and equipment available in collegiate aviation, complementing a world-class professional aviation program consistently viewed as one of the best in the world. For more information, visit the college online or call 269-964-6473.