February Gives Heart to Existing Initiatives
Vol.10 Issue 2
Aeronautical Center Director Michelle Coppedge celebrates Soul Food Luncheon Day with National Coalition of Black Federal Aviation Employees (NBCFAE) members.

This month, several members of the Aeronautical Center’s Leadership Team had the opportunity to travel or join via Zoom to meet with their counterpart leaders at the William J. Hughes Technical Center in Atlantic City, New Jersey. It was a pleasure to connect with Shelley Yak, Director of the Tech Center, and her team to share some exciting opportunities emerging in aviation and aerospace. The Centers share some commonalities in being vital entities to the agency, each with separate missions. Still, both are instrumental in maximizing capabilities through innovation, exploration, and implementation of enabling technologies. The teams rely on collaboration and sharing of capabilities, aiding in mutually beneficial research.

In February, we recognized Black History Month, and hopefully, you could partake in some of the activities hosted by the National Black Coalition of Federal Aviation Employees (NBCFAE). This year’s national theme is African Americans and the Arts. Coalition members took time to host some projects with children at the Launching Pad, reading books and creating art projects. They hosted a soul food luncheon with some children’s artwork displayed in the Blue Sky Café. The Coalition is hosting a Black History Month essay open to high school, vocational, and undergraduate college students. Winners will be notified on March 15, 2024.

We continue to help grow Oklahoma’s workforce by providing high-quality STEM AVSED outreach opportunities. This month, we hosted several school groups at the Center, including Norman Public Schools’ Oklahoma Aviation Academy, West Moore Aviation Maintenance Class, and the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association Homeschool Cooperative. STEM AVSED Outreach representatives participated in two significant events held on the same day, February 21st, which involved the Oklahoma Engineering Fair at the Science Museum of Oklahoma and the Junior Achievement Inspire Event at the Oklahoma State Fairgrounds. Nearly 2,000 Oklahoma students learned about aerospace careers and what a career might look like for them in this industry.

This month, as a new group of employees were introduced to the Aeronautical Center and the FAA, a new hire familiarization program called "The Center Connection" was presented to them. Hosted by Human Resources each quarter, the program connects new employees with the Center so that new employees begin their careers with a baseline understanding of the activities, missions, and opportunities hosted at the Center.

As you may have heard, our state and nation are experiencing an emergency blood shortage, as the lowest number of people are giving blood today compared to the last 20 years. The Oklahoma Blood Institute needs blood and platelet donations to help alleviate the shortage and provide for lifesaving medical procedures without delay. Donating blood takes about an hour, but you could be helping save someone’s life. A blood drive was hosted this month, and several drives are scheduled for the upcoming months. Please watch for broadcast messages for your chance to give.

Special thanks to the overwhelming generosity expressed by Aeronautical Center employees, who pledged to our 2023 Combined Federal Campaign (CFC). We appreciate those who chose to give through this vital workplace giving program. This year, we raised a total of $202,255.25! These funds will help our community and will extend assistance to national and international charities. We are grateful for your donations of time and money in making the 2023 campaign a success.

If you are a member of an AMC-related organization at the Center, please remember to take part in the 2024 AMC Annual Employee Engagement Survey hosted by Gallup Q12, where an important email should have been delivered to your inbox. We encourage you to take 5 minutes of your time to complete this survey. We want to know your honest opinions about the work environment and if we are doing the right things and fostering a workplace of engagement. Your participation matters, as your voice contributes to improvements across the Center. It’s your input that can make the difference.

Thanks for the work you perform daily to provide the safest, most efficient aerospace system in the world, in addition to making the Aeronautical Center a Top Workplace for four consecutive years!


Michelle Coppedge
Director, Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center

Federal Aviation Aministration (FAA) seal