In reference to last week’s online article originally posted under the headline, At MIA, Intern Pay Soars to Almost $73,000: The article trivialized a good faith effort by the Miami-Dade Aviation Department (MDAD) to offer hands-on experience to college graduates pursuing careers in aviation.
MDAD’s 2015-16 budget proposal includes preliminary plans for a professional training program that would achieve this goal by offering three qualified college graduates — on a purely competitive basis — the opportunity to work full time at the department for one year. Currently, the program exists only on paper as a proposal — its details and budget have neither been finalized nor approved as the original headline wrongly implied.
As a first step in creating the program, MDAD had to carve out a placeholder in its annual budget proposal for the three trainee slots and assign an existing county job classification and pay range to them ($42,000 - $72,000).
Despite being told on several occasions by MDAD staff that the $72,000 figure represented the absolute maximum of the pay range, not likely what the final compensation would be, the reporter nonetheless wrote otherwise. Ultimately, the headline was changed to make it slightly less shocking, but the damage was already done: The erroneous original headline was making the rounds with media outlets throughout the community and public perception had been cemented around a misleading premise.
We share the Beacon Council’s belief that helping to create jobs and develop young professionals are good things for our community. This story thwarted that effort.
Emilio T. Gonzalez,
Miami-Dade Aviation Department