NBAA’s Damato Joins DOT Task Force Focused on Youth Access to Aviation Careers

National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) Vice President of Educational Strategy and Workforce Development Joanne “Jo” Damato, CAM, has been appointed to the Department of Transportation’s (DOT’s) Youth Access to American Jobs in Aviation Task Force (YIATF) as an aviation educational stakeholder representative.

Joanne “Jo” Damato

The YIATF was established in October 2019 under the Federal Advisory Committee Act, to provide independent advice and strategies to the FAA to promote aviation as a career choice for high school students.

“Your work representing the views of aviation and educational stakeholders and experts will greatly benefit YIATF and the Department’s efforts to encourage and facilitate students in the United States to enroll in and complete courses of study related to an aviation career, and to identify and develop pathways for these students to secure careers in the U.S. aviation industry,” said DOT Secretary Elaine Chao in a letter informing Damato of her appointment to the task force.

Damato joined NBAA in 2001 to manage the association’s Air Traffic Services function at the FAA Air Traffic Control System Command Center, and in 2007 she shifted the focus of her career to professional development. Appointed vice president of educational strategy and workforce development in 2019, Damato is responsible for leading the team for all of NBAA’s professional development activities, including the association’s Professional Development Strategic Focus Team, Certified Aviation Manager Program, Professional Development Program Review Committee, On-Demand Education and Scholarship Program.

A current certified flight instructor and NBAA Certified Aviation Manager, Damato holds a single and multi-engine land instrument rating and a commercial pilot certificate. She has a bachelor’s degree in aviation management, flight option specialization, from the Florida Institute of Technology, and a master’s degree in aeronautical science from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

Damato is active with Women in Aviation International, Women in Corporate Aviation and the Florida Tech College of Aeronautics Alumni Board. In 2010, she helped launch an all-volunteer non-profit organization, Sky Hope Network, which in 2018 merged with Patient Air Lift Services.

“I am honored, excited and energized to join this important task force,” said Damato. “I’ve been passionate about aviation my whole life: I was that 15-year-old high schooler inspired by the idea of a career in aviation, but it was a challenge for my parents, teachers and guidance counselors to help me start that journey. I want to pay it forward, and support this group’s work to make the path into the industry clearer, especially for underrepresented groups and individuals.”