Airlines are clamoring to hire K-State graduates and reverse pilot shortage

Neil Nakahodo, June 11, 2018: Jacob Mitchell will never forget the thrill he felt the first time he saw an airplane take off. He was 4 and having lunch with his mom at a restaurant overlooking an airport.

From that day forward, Mitchell said, all he ever wanted to play with as a kid were toy airplanes. And as a teen, all he ever wanted to become was a pilot according to

In May, the 21-year-old from Foxfield, Colo., graduated from Kansas State University’s aviation program and landed a job as a pilot with Republic Airline. This summer, Mitchell is working on K-State’s Polytechnic Campus in Salina as a senior flight instructor and ambassador. He’s recruiting students to flight school for his new employer, which, like other regional airlines these days, is desperately looking to hire new pilots.

There’s a pilot shortage in this country, and several airlines are combating the problem by partnering with K-State to guarantee jobs to graduates like Mitchell.

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