September 15, 2016
When you hear the name Maverick Aviation Group, the field of information technology probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. Instead, you may think of first-class helicopters and amazing views of some of the nation’s most renowned landmarks. But with having a diverse set of teams that are completely dependent on technology, the helicopters are not what keeps Maverick functioning each and every day. In a recent interview with Tech Impact, the CIO of Maverick Aviation, Joshua Leavitt, said, “We’re really a technology-oriented company that just happens to fly helicopters.”
Maverick Aviation opened their inaugural location in Las Vegas, Nevada in 1995 and have seen their business do nothing but soar to great heights with now five bases of operation. It was an attractive choice to launch in The Entertainment Capital of the World, because it fit the high-end image that people typically associate with the glamorous city. “You don’t have to convince anyone to come here,” said Leavitt.
And while the VIP, tourist-focused company offers a grandeur experience, one of Joshua’s favorite aspects about his team is their desire to be involved in the community and the extent to which they encourage the staff to be charitable.
Tech Impact launched its workforce development program, ITWorks, in Las Vegas in February of 2016. Volunteers are an integral component of the program that serve as mentors, teach professional development sessions, and provide students with invaluable hands-on experience during an internship. So when Josh met Tech Impact’s Executive Director, Patrick Callihan, at a Society for Information Management (SIM) meeting, it was natural to talk about how the two organizations might be able to partner together in Las Vegas – especially since Leavitt serves as the Committee Chair for SIM Las Vegas’ Workforce Committee.
Since that time, not only has Maverick been an exceptional advocate of the ITWorks program, but they have also become invested in the students’ futures by hosting an internship. Callihan believes that organizations like Maverick, and people like Joshua Leavitt, are prime examples of successful partnerships. “He is passionate about building the technology workforce in Las Vegas, while at the same time providing opportunities for the young people to learn and gain experience.”
The relationship is symbiotic for both ITWorks and Maverick. “The biggest benefit to hosting an ITWorks student as an intern at Maverick is having high-quality talent in-house. [Our intern] was not only knowledgeable in the subject area, but eager to learn as much as he could,” Leavitt said about their first intern experience in Spring of 2016. He went on to say, “It’s really neat for us to give back and show that we have a name that can be remembered in a positive way in the community. It makes my day knowing that [Brandon] has landed his first IT job at another awesome company after graduating from the program.”
With the ITWorks program in Las Vegas building on the solid foundation they have laid so far, partners like Maverick make it tangible to see the long-term success of the program – and its graduates. Rachel Nelson, ITWorks Las Vegas Program Manager, could not express enough gratitude and enthusiasm about the unique opportunity that the program has by collaborating with Maverick. “They have been a phenomenal partner for [us]. I’ve learned that IT truly has a role in every aspect of their business, which makes for a unique partnership. On any given day, the student intern could be providing service to their call center and then the next, could be on a helicopter flying to the edge of the Grand Canyon to fix a computer.”
Nelson is hopeful that the two teams can continue to collaborate on ways to provide IT and professional experience to ITWorks students, which in turn makes for a stronger youth workforce in the Las Vegas community. Leavitt, too, is excited about where the ITWorks program will go, and the heights that its graduates will reach in their careers. “There’s no doubt in my mind that a graduate from the ITWorks program will be in my shoes somewhere in the near future – having this very conversation as CIO of their own successful IT company.”
--ITWorks is a free 16-week technology training program for young adults ages 18 to 26. Through 11 weeks of classroom study and hands-on workshops, students prepare for the industry-leading CompTIA A+ Certification. Through 5 weeks of internship, students build their resumes and real-world skills. Students complete over 100 hours of professional development training led by area IT and HR professionals. ITWorks holds classes in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Wilmington, Delaware; and Las Vegas, Nevada. ITWorks is a program of Tech Impact, a nonprofit whose mission is to empower communities and other nonprofits to use technology to better serve our world.
---The Society for Information Management (SIM) is a national organization that provides benefits including networking, career development, talent recruitment, leadership skills, programs, and publications to its members. Local affiliates, such as SIM Las Vegas, work to improve the IT profession in their regions in the areas of education, workforce, security, and legislation; among others.
---Maverick Aviation Group was started by an industry entrepreneur couple that had a vision to create a company that would provide a true VIP-level experience not previously offered in the helicopter industry. Today, Maverick operates the largest and most modern, state-of-the-art fleet of ECO-Star helicopters in the world in five bases of operation. In addition, Maverick Airlines and Mustang Helicopters were formed to provide additional services to clients. VIP service, the finest equipment and pilots, the highest safety standards and unique excursions make Maverick Helicopters the industry leader.
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