Category Archives: Making a Difference

Our People in Action – CMX Bowl for Kids

Freddy Lemmo
Corporate Communications Coordinator

Earlier this year, the SkyWest team in Houghton/Hancock, Michigan (CMX) laced up their bowling shoes to raise money for Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) and help deliver crucial mentoring programs that serve the local community.

At the U.P. Kids’ Big Brothers Big Sisters, Bowl for Kids event, SkyWest team members Nicole Johnson, Mary Lou Mercier, Torri Ryan, David Holmbo, Vic Petaja, Pat Willmert, Jeff Stark, Adria Laplander, Brittany Brandt, Lisa Rajala, Sarah Anderson, Megan Chaaban, Anna Arens, Zach Korkko, Amy Sundblad and Heather Garner teamed up to raise nearly $1,000. The BBBS at U.P Kids team says the funds were enough to supply about 30 percent of the total funds they need to deliver their mentoring programs.

“Because of your partnership, your passion for our mission, and your willingness to help… We’re able to change the lives of hundreds of kids in the local communities each year,” said the BBBS team. “Thank you! Your support is critically important to the life-changing work we do in building brighter futures for children in our local communities!”

Bowl for Kids is the main fundraising event for U.P. Kids and connects with SkyWest’s Guiding Principles, said CMX General Manager Nicole Johnson. “U.P. Kids Big Brothers Big Sisters builds a healthy strong foundation for kids in the community to help them realize their full potential. U.P. Kids nurtures children, supports families and strengthens communities.”

Great job CMX, and thank you for representing SkyWest with your Excellent Service and Quality at work and in the community! SkyWest believes in supporting the causes our people are passionate about through the Spirit of SkyWest: Our People in Action program, which is set up to allow SkyWest contributions for any SkyWest team member participating in an eligible charitable 501(c)(3) cause. It’s just one of the many ways SkyWest gives back to the communities we serve through our amazing people.

Interested in joining our team? Learn more and apply online!

SkyWest Offers Flight Rehearsal with Wings for Autism

Freddy Lemmo
Corporate Communications Coordinator

For many, the task of going to the airport, boarding a plane and reaching their final destination is pretty simple. Most travelers have learned that lines and big crowds in the airport are a typical part of the travel process. But for others, especially those on the autism spectrum, and their families, the task of going to the airport can be new and stressful. That’s why SkyWest Airlines once again teamed up with Fresno Yosemite International Airport, The Arc of Fresno, TSA, Delta Global Service and Hewlett Packard, to offer Wings for Autism in Fresno for some very special passengers.

Wings for Autism offers airport “rehearsals” specifically designed to alleviate the stress that children with autism or intellectual/developmental disabilities, and their families, experience when flying.

“Going through security for the first time was a little intimidating,” said SFO First Officer Antonio Puentes, who volunteered at the event. The event was even more meaningful for First Officer Puentes because his son, Mateo, is autistic. “Coming through and you’ve got these machines, and you’ve got people standing around. You’ve got the big conveyor belts. That can be very stressful. And so getting through that with an extra help was a tremendous benefit for them.”

As part of the event, 50 children and their families got a first-hand look at what to expect at the airport and on an aircraft. After checking in at the ticket counter, they were greeted by members of the TSA, who explained what to expect in the screening process. They then gathered at the gate, where SkyWest crewmembers greeted them and talked to each child individually.

The children then boarded a SkyWest CRJ200, complete with a special sendoff from crews lined up on each side of the aircraft. After a full safety demonstration from the flight attendants, they taxied around the airport while enjoying snacks and beverages. They were welcomed back to the gate with high fives and plenty of smiles.

“It’s such a great experience, being able to fly and go new places, and they get to experience that by going through this process first,” said Melissa Perry of the Fresno Yosemite Airport. “They are getting a social story to help them through exactly what they did today, and then they can take that with them when they get ready to go on their [next] trip.”

Thank you to the SkyWest people who volunteered countless hours of coordination and expertise to share their love of flying and provide these families with memories that will last a lifetime! Learn more about joining the SkyWest team.

 

SkyWest and Habitat for Humanity Build Up Casper

Katelyn Boulton
Corporate Communications Coordinator

Last weekend, the SkyWest team in Casper, Wyoming (CPR) had the chance to give back to the community by working with Habitat for Humanity to help build and repair homes in the city of Casper. Seven SkyWest team members, along with their families, volunteered their time and hard work for the community they love while the CPR airport was closed for runway construction. Together they nailed away as they assembled and put up walls, adding paint as a finishing touch.

“There is no challenge we will not take on,” said Lea Ursey, SkyWest CPR general manager. “Thank you, SkyWest, for supporting us in our drive to give back to the community.”

This isn’t the first time SkyWest people have gone above and beyond to give back to the communities in which we work and live. Nearly 200 SkyWest employees showcased their commitment to teamwork and quality last year, working alongside Habitat for Humanity to build homes for those in need in Salt Lake City, Denver, Chicago and Los Angeles.

Interested in joining our team? Learn more and apply online at http://www.skywest.com/skywest-airline-jobs.

SkyWest Crew and Make-A-Wish Work Together for Memorable Flight

Freddy Lemmo
Corporate Communications Coordinator

Few things bring as much wonderment and awe as the miracle of flight. For 5-year-old Scarlett, a recent trip on a SkyWest flight to start off her Make-A-Wish journey on a Disney Cruise was made even more memorable thanks to Chicago crew members Captain Kevin Jones, First Officer Troy Halterman, and Flight Attendants Tania Randall and Rachel Bryan, who made sure Scarlett’s journey started on a high note.

Prior to boarding their American Eagle flight from Appleton, Wisconsin (ATW) to Chicago (ORD), Captain Jones was handed a letter from the Appleton ground crew. Inside was a request from the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Wisconsin. The letter explained that this crew’s flight was the beginning of 5-year-old Scarlett’s journey on her way to receive her wish to go on a Disney Cruise. It described Scarlett’s situation and asked if the crew would provide the family with a memorable experience.

Captain Jones with Scarlett (left) and her twin sister Evie (right)

The crew sprang into action to give Scarlett a flight to remember. Tania warmly greeted the family and showed them the features of the galley. Rachel showed Scarlett how to make passenger announcements on the aft hand phone at the rear of the aircraft. After the short 60-minute flight, Scarlett and her twin sister Evie joined the pilots in the flight deck. First Officer Halterman demonstrated what various displays indicate, and the girls capped off their experience with a photo in the flight deck.

Below is Captain Jones’ response to Make-A-Wish Wisconsin following his flight with Scarlett and her family.

Dear Make-A-Wish Wisconsin,

It was with great joy I received your letter today prior to the boarding of American Eagle flight #3238 in Appleton. Our ground crew handed me your letter regarding Scarlett and her family. During our welcome announcements, we introduced Scarlett as one of our honorary crew members. I invited the family to join us near the flight deck/cockpit during deplaning, and Scarlett and Evie were willing to jump on my lap for some photos. Thank you, thank you for allowing me to be a part of this wonderful experience! They are on their way!

Warmly,
Kevin C. Jones, SkyWest Airlines

Each day, SkyWest people transport our customers to and from some of the most important events in their lives. Thank you, Captain Jones, First Officer Halterman, and Flight Attendants Tania and Rachel for your excellent service. Scarlett, we hope you and your family had a memorable experience!

SkyWest Family Shows Up During Time Of Need

Caitlin Miller
People Programs Coordinator

“If you ask why I choose SkyWest, I’ll tell you it’s the culture!”

Those were words written by Kirksey Hagan, a new SkyWest CRJ first officer in training. She joined the SkyWest team last month and had an immediate introduction to the SkyWest family going above and beyond after she experienced a medical emergency.

When Kirksey woke up in serious pain a couple of weeks ago, she reached out to a friend she had made in training class, Brent Blackmore. It was a very early morning wake-up call after several rigorous days of training, but Brent stopped at a pharmacy to pick up some medicine before driving Kirksey to urgent care. She was advised to go straight to the emergency room, and Brent drove her there and waited with her until she was diagnosed. Training Admin Manager Jen Baron left work immediately to meet them there.

Kirksey and Jen

Kirksey needed an emergency appendectomy, and her family was not be able to make it to the hospital in time. Jen stayed at the hospital through the surgery, working with the SkyWest Travel Center to coordinate travel to Salt Lake City for Kirksey’s family. She also contacted the training and housing teams to fill them in on Kirksey’s situation. She even offered for Kirksey to stay with her family to help her recover over the Easter weekend. After surgery, another classmate also drove to the hospital to bring an overnight essentials bag and check in on her.

“In a time where I felt my lowest, I had my SkyWest family taking care of me,” she said. “They truly honor and stick to their Guiding Principles, and I’m so glad I was given the opportunity to, and made the decision to, come to SkyWest Airlines.”

Kirksey’s story is just one example of the more than 13,000 SkyWest employees who continually make it a priority to take care of each other. Learn more about the SkyWest team: http://ow.ly/3TU450hdoBQ 

 

SkyWest Inspires Next Generation of Flyers!

Layne Watson
Corporate Communications Manager

This spring, children across the SkyWest system are trading in their school supplies for their wings to get a an up close look at what it takes to safely operate more than 2,100 flights a day as part of Bring Our Kids to Work Day. This annual tradition not only gives the next generation of flyers a look at what their parents do every day, it also inspires a love for aviation as kids get an inside view of what it’s like to be a pilot, mechanic, flight attendant, dispatcher, cross-utilized agent and more!

At HDQ, nearly 80 future flyers got some hands on experience, including creating a flight plan for a rocket and then launching it, getting a 3D look at what it’s like to be in the flight deck and learning how engine thrust works. They also learned the ins and outs of marshalling an aircraft and had their inflight safety knowledge tested. The event concluded with a special message from SkyWest COO Mike Thompson, who noted that of all the important work SkyWest’s 13,000+ professionals do, none is more important than the work they do as parents.

“Your parents make sure that 30 million people every year get safely to their destination. And I’m very appreciative of your parents, who come to work every single day to take of the people at SkyWest, and to take care of you,” said Mike. “Because that really is their number one job, is to take care of each one of you guys.”

In Salt Lake and Denver, the kids got some time in the flight simulators, getting a special look at what it takes to fly a SkyWest jet. The kids in Salt Lake also received a VIP tour of the maintenance hangar and got to test some of their skills in the cabin trainer.

One thing is clear from these events: not only is SkyWest home to the best in the industry, but it is also home to the next great generation of flyers! Thank you to everyone who has participated in sharing our love of flight with our future aviation professionals!

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A Year of Giving Back

Hanna Hansen
Corporate Communications Coordinator

HabitatThe Spirit of SkyWest has always been its people. Never has that been more evident than in 2017, when teams came together to give back to deserving causes around the SkyWest system as well as help team members who faced unforeseen tragedies.

From helping build homes alongside Habitat for Humanity to mark 45 years of flying, to softening the impact of Hurricane Harvey through donating to SkyWest’s non-profit organization, the SOS: Crisis Fund, SkyWest people showed what truly makes the airline great.

Through events around the system, SkyWest people made a positive impact: donating over 85,000 hours building homes alongside Habitat for Humanity; bringing the miracle of flight to 50 special passengers as part of a first-ever Wings for Autism event in California; raising money for The Special Olympics in the ultimate tug of war competition: pulling an Airbus A300 weighing nearly 180,000 pounds; introducing the excitement of aviation to girls aged 8-17 in multiple locations as part of Girls in Aviation Day; proudly displaying what it is we do day-in-and-day-out to SkyWest children at Bring our Kids to Work Day; supporting the fight against breast cancer; donating meals to those in need; and of course, banding together in relief efforts to help SkyWest’s own who were impacted by the hurricanes, fires and other unforeseen tragedies of 2017.

The year of giving didn’t stop there. SkyWest people also provided SkyWest Scholarship funds toGirlsInAviation 45 outstanding students, brought the joy of the holidays to children in need, and shared life-changing experiences with our passengers.

It’s these and stories like them that have shaped 2017 and 45 years of flight at SkyWest. We look forward to 2018 and the opportunities it holds for continuing to give back where SkyWest people live and work across the country.

SkyWest Team Provides Thousands of Meals through Holiday Donations


12-19_Utah-Food-Bank_Executives-5SkyWest people have worked all year long to give back in our communities as we celebrate 45 years of flying, making 2017 one of our most giving years ever. As we wrap up a year that has included building houses with Habitat for Humanity in Salt Lake City, Denver, Chicago, and Los Angeles; donating thousands to support Hurricane Harvey victims; giving $45,000 for the SkyWest Scholarship Fund and transporting some very special passengers to the North Pole, SkyWest team members got in the spirit of giving once more this December, raising more than $15,000 for the Utah Food Bank, including a dollar-for-dollar match from the SkyWest, Inc. C-suite!The donation will have a large impact on fighting hunger, providing nearly 55,700 meals for those in need this holiday season and beyond.

“Not only have we had an incredible year operationally, we’ve also had a tremendous year of giving back,” said SkyWest Vice President of People Lori Hunt. “The giving hearts of our people is another attribute that sets SkyWest people apart as the best in the industry. Thank you all for your generous time, volunteering and donations to help others both inside and outside the SkyWest team.”

The Utah Food Bank, a member of the nationwide network, Feeding America, feeds 392,000 children, families and seniors who are unsure of where their next meal will come from. They are 12-19_Utah-Food-Bank_Executives-22 (002)one of several food banks that delivers food to their partner agencies free of charge and are a member of the nation’s leading domestic hunger-relief network.

A huge thank you to everyone who contributed and joined the fight against hunger! You can continue to make donations to the Utah Food Bank through the SkyWest team page by clicking here.

Pilot and Son’s Story Comes Full Circle at SkyWest Flight to the North Pole

Caitlin Miller
People Programs Coordinator

12_09-MKE-FantasyFlight_00150When Chicago-based CRJ Captain Tim Schuh heard about the opportunity to serve as crew on the SkyWest-sponsored Flight to the North Pole benefiting children with life-threatening illness in the Milwaukee area, he immediately volunteered to serve as Captain of the special flight.  He was eager to give back after his personal experience at the Milwaukee Children’s Hospital with his own infant son.

“Our time in the Milwaukee Children’s Hospital NICU, spending all day sitting by our baby, feeling helpless, was the most difficult month of our lives,” Captain Schuh remembers. “I know how the other families are feeling. Even though Oliver has obstacles to overcome, many of the other families are dealing with even more difficult prognoses.”

Captain Schuh and his wife were expecting their first child earlier this year.  At their 20-week ultrasound appointment, they were planning on discovering the gender when they learned their baby had spina bifida. Spina bifida is a birth defect in which a developing baby’s spinal cord fails to develop properly. The effects are lifelong. As a result of spina bifida, the baby also had hydrocephalus, which is a buildup of fluid in the brain. image5

On Aug. 25, 2017, their son, Oliver, was born. Within 12 hours of his birth, he had surgery on his back to close the damaged area. While he was healing, he contracted meningitis, making surgery to address the hydrocephalus impossible until he recovered from that infection. To provide temporary relief to the pressure in his head, an orange tube was placed from his head to an exterior bag. Finally, once the meningitis healed, baby Oliver was able to undergo the secondary surgery to relieve the hydrocephalus.

Captain Schuh and his wife were finally able to take their son home on Sept. 27 and he is doing well. They are grateful to the Milwaukee Children’s Hospital for everything they did for their family, including several lifesaving operations and treatments all while keeping them informed and teaching them everything they needed to know along the way.

“I wanted to help with the Milwaukee Flight to the North Pole because it is a small thing I am able to do to help the kids and families going through difficult times,” Captain Schuh said.

12_09-MKE-FantasyFlight_00216The efforts of Captain Schuh and the rest of the SkyWest volunteers at the Milwaukee Flight to the North Pole helped brighten the holidays for children and their families going through the toughest of times. These team members are shining examples of the giving spirit of SkyWest people.

Read more about SkyWest’s Flight to the North Pole.

Find out how to join the SkyWest team.