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Corral: ‘It’s a beautiful story to see the progress and growth we’ve accomplished.’

StratAir Key Account Senior Operations Manager Jorge Corral has been named the 2023 President’s Award for Safety Innovation honoree. Corral’s inclusive leadership and safety-first mindset led to innovation and improvements that significantly decreased injury risk and increased efficiency and productivity, including creating a cargo roller system that eliminated tug traffic in the warehouse, building a package sorting table, and creating a more efficient warehouse floor layout for breakdown and buildup.

Corral grew up in Chile.

“I was born in Rantoul, Illinois, but when I was six months old, my family returned to Chile,” he said. “I grew up in the aviation industry since my father was a member of the Chilean Air Force. I grew up wanting to be a pilot.”

He started as a Flight Dispatcher for a cargo airline in Chile. He’s been in his current position with StratAir for five years.

“My first impression of StratAir was feeling part of a family. The environment feels more like a home than a workplace. It’s a beautiful story to see the progress and growth we’ve accomplished.”

StratAir now manages four daily flights in Miami and new stations in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and Richmond, Virginia, with two and three flights, respectively.

“StratAir’s been growing. I’m passionate about aviation and have always been interested in what I do. I couldn’t imagine doing anything other than what I do today.”

Corral said working in aviation for 29 years helped him sharpen and improve safety culture.

“It’s imperative not to have a complacent mindset about safety hazards.”

From his experience, staying vigilant and modeling a proactive, standardized way of working is important not only for StratAir but for the industry as a whole.

“The aviation industry has always involved heavy machinery, which could result in many dangerous scenarios. Equipment, including cargo loaders and aircraft engines, always pose a threat if you do not follow safety protocols. This has been the main drive for making safety a top priority.”

One of the important changes Corral implemented at StratAir was static racks.

“Static racks allow us to be more efficient and effective in the load-breaking process, and at the same time, help us to reduce the probability of injuries or incidents in the operation. I was inspired to apply static racks to decrease injury rates since ground support equipment doesn’t enter the warehouse.”

Corral said safety is everyone’s responsibility.

“It’s of the utmost importance to have all employees return home safely to their families. You do this by making sure the measures enacted to improve safety and security issues aren’t punitive but are lessons learned, and by making sure all safety feedback is addressed with the individual, followed by a collective team meeting to ensure the proper barriers are in place. Employees feel rewarded when they are empowered to give advice that can help mitigate any incorrect safety actions.”

Corral’s most proud of his commitment, work ethic, and the team he’s built alongside his coworkers.

“My focus is to ensure company growth in a consistent manner, as well as my personal growth within the company. Aviation has been my passion for a long time.”

He said he’s most surprised at how dynamic his career has turned out to be—and how fast StratAir has grown.

“In the next 10 years, I see StratAir leading the market.”

Corral said there’s nothing about his life or career he would change.

“Life is a succession of things. I have a beautiful family and a passion for my career. I feel more than grateful to be a part of the StratAir family.”

Hilary Reeves

Hilary Reeves spent 10 years as a newspaper reporter and editor before joining the Saltchuk family of companies as a consultant. Since People of Saltchuk launched in 2014, Reeves has interviewed more than 200 Saltchuk employees from operating companies all over the world. Born in Tacoma, Washington, Reeves is a former president of both the collegiate and local professional chapters of the Society of Professional Journalists, a graduate of the Society’s Ted Scripps Leadership Institute, and a Toastmaster. When she’s not writing, she loves to read, ski, and practice the piano. She lives in West Seattle with her husband and two young daughters.