02/23/2023 10:00 AM


For Immediate Release
Feb. 23, 2023

LAX Public Relations 
(424) 646-5260

Chef Nyesha Arrington of Native by Nyesha speaks with Hawthorrne Middle School students during a tour with Los Angeles World Airports and the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship on Wednesday.

(Los Angeles) On Wednesday, Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) and the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) organization helped bring 20 Hawthorne Middle School students, who are working on creating their own businesses, to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) to learn about what it takes to be successful in the aviation industry.


"As these youths from our community develop their ideas for the kinds of businesses they want to create, LAWA and the Board of Airport Commissioners are excited to give them the opportunity to meet and learn from inspirational minority business owners who are also from similar neighborhoods and background," said Karim Webb, Los Angeles Airport Commissioner, who met with the students on Wednesday. "Whether it is improving something that already exists, or dreaming up the next big thing, it is fantastic to see students interested in business at such a young age.”


LAWA has hosted the annual event, which focuses on businesses associated with the aviation industry, with NFTE and Hawthorne Middle School since 2015. After the program was held virtually in 2021 and 2022, students and teacher Reuben Gaxiola returned to LAX on Wednesday, taking an airfield bus tour in addition to meeting owners and operators of businesses in Terminals 1 and 3, and talking with officials who work to bring restaurants and retailers to the airport.


“We’re thrilled LAX is providing this incredible opportunity for these young, aspiring entrepreneurs from Hawthorne Middle School – empowering them to own their futures,” said Dr. J.D. LaRock, President and CEO of NFTE. “Through this connection to real business leaders and entrepreneurs in the industry, NFTE students will begin to understand how knowledge acquired in the classroom can be applied to real-world career opportunities. That is why this field trip promises to be so transformative for our students.”

This year's participating organizations included LAWA, NFTE, Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield (URW), Concord Collective, Skyview Concessions, and two concessionaires with operations in the brand new Terminal 3 concourse, Native by Nyesha (Jackmont Hospitality) and Gameway.

NFTE engages students to learn about business ownership, and to also create a business idea with the goal of opening that business.

Hawthorne Middle School students speak with Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners member Karim Webb about their business ideas (top), find out more about the creation of Gameway (bottom left) and hear from LAWA and URW officials (bottom right) on Wednesday.

About Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
LAX, the fifth-busiest airport in the world in 2021 with 48 million passengers, is in the midst of a $15-billion capital improvement program that will touch on all nine passenger terminals and build new facilities, including an Automated People Mover (APM) train, Consolidated Rent-A-Car (ConRAC) facility and the West Gates at Tom Bradley International Terminal.

In 2019, LAX served nearly 88.1 million passengers and offered an average of 700 daily nonstop flights to 113 destinations in the U.S. and 1,200 weekly nonstop flights to 91 markets in 46 countries on 72 commercial airlines.

LAX generated 620,600 jobs in Southern California, with labor income of $37.3 billion and economic output (business revenues) of more than $126.6 billion, according to an economic study based on 2014 operations. This activity added $6.2 billion to local and state revenues and $8.7 billion in federal tax revenues. The study also reported that LAX’s ongoing capital improvement program creates an additional 121,640 annual jobs with labor income of $7.6 billion and economic output of $20.3 billion; $966 million in state and local taxes; and $1.6 billion in federal tax revenues.

LAX is part of a system of two Southern California airports – along with Van Nuys general aviation – that are owned and operated by Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA), a proprietary department of the City of Los Angeles that receives no funding from the City's general fund.

LAWA is leading the aviation industry in sustainability practices, with initiatives related to water management, energy (electricity) management, air quality, recycling and natural resources management. In 2019, LAX received Level III ACI Airport Carbon Accreditation from Airports Council International-Europe.

LAWA is also a leader in inclusivity, operating eight programs that provide opportunities for business enterprises including local, small, minority-owned, veteran-owned and disadvantaged firms, and working together with community partners to offer the HireLAX Apprenticeship Readiness Program, which targets local workers to make them ready for rewarding careers in the construction trades, and the Build LAX Academy, designed to prepare small contracting businesses for success when working on projects at LAX.

LAX was named a top-10 U.S. airport by SKYTRAX in 2018, and was honored as the "Most Innovative Airport for Passenger Experience" in 2019 by the American Association of Airport Executives. LAX is the second-most popular airport in the world to appear on Instagram, according to Other recent honors have included selection as the No. 9 Best Airport (Wall Street Journal); No. 7 Best On-Time Performance for a Mega-Hub Airport (OAG); one of "The World's Best Airports for Business Travelers" (GlobeHunters); Public-Private Partnership of the Year (P3 Bulletin); Urth Caffe, Best Airport Coffee Concession of the Year (Global FAB Awards); Innovation of the Year, Consolidated Rent-A-Car Facility (ARTBA); Best Project, United Airlines Terminal 7 and 8 Redevelopment Program (Engineering News Record California); North American Public-Private Partnership Deal of the Year (IJ Global); and Innovative Transportation Solution of the Year, Automated People Mover (WTS LA).

For more information about LAX, please visit or follow on Twitter   @flyLAXAirport, on Facebook at, and on YouTube at

As a covered entity under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the City of Los Angeles does not discriminate on the basis of disability and, upon request, will provide reasonable accommodation to ensure equal access to its programs, services, and activities. Alternative formats in large print, braille, audio, and other forms (if possible) will be provided upon request.

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