In an industry that’s dominated by white men, Delta Airlines is aiming to change that by partnering with Hampton University, a Historically Black University .

The airline has added the university to it’s Propel Collegiate Pilot Career Path Program making Hampton the first historically Black university to do so.

Delta launched the program back in 2018 to help develop the next generation of pilots. It’s a critical program considering the aviation industry is on the brink of a pilot shortage.

CNN reports that an estimated 34,000 new pilots are needed by 2025. Meanwhile, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics attributes the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or choose to retire.

Hampton University students who join the program and meet Delta’s standards will receive a job offer upon graduation.

“Adding Hampton University as a Delta Air Lines Propel partner evokes a myriad of thoughts and emotions,” says First Officer Monique Grayson, an interviewer for the Propel program. “Delta says connecting the world requires that we first respect the world through seeking diversity, promoting inclusion, creating equity, and driving accountability towards these goals. Considering the history of HBCU’s and that of Delta, I am proud to see the company doing just that.”

Hampton University’s department of aviation was established in 1985 and is one of only 40 aviation programs accredited by the Aviation Accreditation Board International (AABI).

Delta isn’t the only major airline investing more in communities of color. In 2021, United Airlines announced on Twitter that the company plans to make sure that at least half of the pilots it trains by 2030 are women and people of color. Roughly 2-3 percent of commercial airline pilots are Black.