A highly skilled and robust aerospace workforce is essential to our national security and economic prosperity. Yet today the industry faces impending retirements and a shortage of trained technical graduates, which is a situation that is forecasted to worsen within the decade.
Some companies address this issue by outsourcing work around the globe. In aerospace and defense, however, security requirements dictate that most design work on military systems must be done by U.S. citizens. Thus the need for U.S. developed technical talent is particularly acute to ensure a world-class aerospace workforce ready to lead in a global economy.
The Commission on the Future of the U.S. Aerospace Industry recommended “that the nation immediately reverse the decline in and promote the growth of a scientifically and technologically trained U.S. aerospace workforce…” adding that “the breakdown of America’s intellectual and industrial capacity is a threat to national security and our capability to continue as a world leader.” The Commission also recommended that resolving the crisis will require government, industry, labor and academia to work together.
AIA is urging Congress, industry trade associations, education institutions, and other stakeholders to acknowledge the need to develop a highly-skilled and robust aerospace workforce and to demonstrate a willingness to address these issues through policy, programs and investment. As an industry, AIA and its member companies are facing this issue through engaging education and workforce development programs, supporting initiatives that improve our nation’s education and innovation systems, and campaigning to raise awareness of our workforce needs and opportunities.