David Dominguez

David Dominguez

Believe it or not the Federal Aviation Administration reports that only about six percent of Hispanics make up their workforce. What’s worse is that few Hispanics apply for jobs and training programs in the aviation industry. David Dominguez, president of the National Hispanic Coalition of Federal Aviation Employees (NHCFAE) and an air traffic controller in California told NBC that he believes that opening up recruitment and outreach will bring a more diverse workforce. “I remember driving by a traffic control tower as a kid and saying, ‘wow that would be a great job,’ but there wasn’t many FAA promotion where I grew up in El Paso, Texas,” Dominguez said.

To that end, NHCFAE established the Rene Matos Memorial Scholarship. 

The Rene Matos Memorial Scholarship was established in the name of a very motivated and dedicated man who epitomized the dream to succeed while helping others along the way. Even from his humble beginnings as an air traffic controller in Puerto Rico, Matos displayed a talent and personality that could not be contained there. While he was in Puerto Rico, Matos never curbed his desire to advance in his career. Already gifted in what he did as a controller, Matos wanted to so more; not only for his own career but for other Hispanics as well. He educated himself and eventually moved up in the ranks as a top manager at the William J. Hughes Technical Center in New Jersey. It was his drive, diligence and determination that earned him that position. Matos was the NHCFAE president from 1989-1992. He was proud of his heritage, and it was apparent in all his efforts in the Coalition. His sole purpose was to see other Hispanics succeed. NHCFAE honored his dream by establishing a scholarship in his name.

The application filing period for the scholarship runs from February 15 to May 1, 2017. Selected applicants will be notified after September 1, 2017, and names will be displayed on NHCFAE’s main page. Applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents residing in the United States or Puerto Rico. They must be accepted or attending an accredited college, university or vocational/trade school at the time the scholarship is awarded. Applications postmarked later than the expiration date will not be accepted.  Faxed applications will not be accepted. The NHCFAE Scholarship Selection Committee evaluates applicants on the following criteria: financial need, academic achievement, student activities, honors/awards, community involvement, leadership, personal qualities and strengths.

If you have any questions regarding the Rene Matos Memorial Scholarship Program, please email and a reply will be sent to your e-mail address.

“We Latinos can make a difference and improve diversity, which is something the FAA wants,” Dominguez who is of Mexican descent told NBC. “I want to share with younger Latinos that they have the same opportunities I had.” •