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Delta, MTSU Daniels Center explore veterans partnership

Delta Airlines officials who work with more than 10,000 veterans at their company visited Middle Tennessee State University Wednesday (Feb. 20) to gain a firsthand look at the Charlie and Hazel Daniels Veterans and Military Family Center and veterans’ initiatives.

The purpose of the half-day meeting was for MTSU to learn more about Delta’s Veterans Business Resource Group and for MTSU’s Keith M. Huber and Hilary Miller to share details about the Daniels Center — with an end goal of developing a relationship where the university’s military-connected students gain employment in all areas of Delta Airlines.

“This visit by the Veterans Business Resource Group and board is significant, given the fact that Delta Airlines with 80,000 employees and over 10,000 of those are veterans, and to be able to offer to those veterans an awareness and access to their VA benefits and education benefits and to assist them with the Daniels Center,” said Huber, senior adviser for veterans and leadership initiatives and a retired U.S. Army lieutenant general.

“To assist them and their families while they are in transition is the noble reason that we’re are having this interaction and further development of this relationship,” Huber added.

Kurt Robinson, manager quality control receiving inspection, president of the Veterans Business Resource Group and former U.S. Air Force crew chief, said he and his two visiting colleagues were impressed with what they saw and heard.

“It (MTSU) is an outstanding organization,” Robinson said. “We like their goals and objectives.” He added their visit to campus was “to understand what the veterans center is doing” and “understand future opportunities for veterans and veterans’ families.

The other Delta officials visiting from Atlanta, Georgia, were:

  • Tyrone Barmore, Veterans Business Resource secretary and communications officer, tech operations supply attendant and U.S. Army veteran.
  • Carmela Carter, an analyst for the engine and component maintenance team in Atlanta TechOps, treasurer for the veterans group and 14-year veteran as an executive assistant in the Army before joining Delta.

Robinson acknowledged the airlines’ Delta Propel partnership with the MTSU Department of Aerospace that began in 2018 and offers a fast-track program for qualified aerospace students to become Delta pilots.

“We have veterans from maintenance, to our flight operations group (and) to flight attendants, seeing where we can blend that all in and maybe give our current employees opportunities that you have here (at MTSU) and learn more about the veteran benefits,” Robinson said.

The Daniels Center works with a student veteran population of about 1,000, which includes family members. Miller is the center director.

MTSU has more than 300 combined undergraduate and graduate programs.

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