30 May 2018
Fresno Yosemite International Airport sponsored a Human Trafficking Awareness Training on June 25, 2018, that was provided by AIRLINE AMBASSADORS training team: Andrea Hobart, Leslie Power, and survivor Alicia Kozakiewicz.
Representing Congressman Jim Costa, District Director Kathy Mahan shared enthusiasm for combating human trafficking in Fresno. Director of Aviation, Kevin Meikle, welcomed the group along with Vikkie Calderon.
The training was well received and there were approximately 60 attendees, including local government, representatives, airline and airport station management and personnel, TSA and local citizens.
Three news stations attended and here is the report from Desiree Lopez on TV KSEE24: Fresno Airport educates employees on how to identify human trafficking victims. KSEE 24 also reports for Telemundo 51. Here is the report in Spanish
Local NGO’s working on combating on were also represented and had the chance to share. Founder of MADE FOR THEM, Andrea Shabaglian, and Anti-Human Trafficking Case Manager, Evelyn Gonzalez with the ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITIES COMMISSION and the Central Valley Freedom Coalition as well as Mollie’s House and the Alicia Project were also highlighted.
MEDIA RELEASE – Fresno Yosemite International Airport to Host
Anti-trafficking Awareness for Airport Personnel and Partners
Fresno, CA – Fresno Yosemite International Airport in partnership with Airline Ambassadors International (AAI), a network of airline employees leading the effort to take the issue of human trafficking to the travel industry, will conduct a training on Monday, June 25, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. in the airport terminal lobby conference room for airport and airline personnel on recognizing and reporting human trafficking. The session will offer industry-specific training designed to raise situational awareness by teaching the warning signals and methods of how to handle a suspected trafficking situation.
“Fresno Yosemite International Airport is pleased to collaborate with AAI on creating awareness to keep our community and the traveling public safe,” said Director of Aviation Kevin Meikle. “The industry-specific training will provide our airport team with the support to recognize trafficking related situations and to be the voice for an individual who may be in a desperate situation.”
Featured speaker AAI Human Trafficking Program Director, Andrea Hobart will lead the training. Participants will also hear from Alicia Kozakeiwicz, who will share her personal survivor story and Leslie Power, the airline professional who proposed the training. Participants will include airport and airline personnel, concession team members, federal partners and nearby hoteliers.
The Fresno Economic Opportunities Commission, Central Valley Freedom Coalition, Mollie’s House and Made for Them will be on hand to share materials and services offered by their respective organizations.
“We applaud the initiative of Fresno Yosemite International Airport for highlighting this issue just after the formal release of the International Civil Aviation Organization guidelines and the International Air Transport Association also encouraging all airlines to raise awareness on the most important human rights issue of our times,” said AAI President Nancy Rivard.
The training is consistent with the Blue Lightning Initiative of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and supported by the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Fresno Yosemite International Airport – Fresno Yosemite International Airport currently offers Valley passengers daily nonstop flights to Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Portland, Salt Lake City, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, and Guadalajara and Morelia, Mexico on domestic and international carriers. Fresno Yosemite International Airport is a municipally owned entity operating as a self-supporting enterprise. No City of Fresno general funds are used to operate Fresno Yosemite International Airport or Fresno Chandler Executive Airport.
Airline Ambassadors International (AAI) – (AAI) is a U.S. based 501(c)3 non-government organization that is leading the effort to take the issue of human trafficking to the travel industry. It began with a group of flight attendants using their passes to assist children in need, and has expanded to members of all ages and professions. AAI leverages airlines to provide passenger and cargo space for medical and rescue personnel, as well as for food, medicine and humanitarian relief. AAI volunteers also escort children traveling abroad for donated medical procedures and educate on human trafficking awareness.
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