Arlington, Va. - A new report from the aerospace industry promotes the need to convince more students to study math and science and makes proposals to senior policy makers to improve those education disciplines.
The new report, "Launching the 21st Century American Aerospace Workforce," documents steps the industry is taking to head off a potential workforce crisis and makes nine policy recommendations to government partners.
The report is a follow-up to an analysis released earlier this year that detailed the goals and actions the industry must take to meet the challenge.
A series of specific recommendations are featured in the report, including establishing and funding a strong innovation and economic competitiveness agenda, creating a cabinet-level council dealing with Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics education and revising federal education law to optimize preparation for students pursuing technical careers.
AIA President and CEO Marion Blakey said the workforce challenge must be met directly to ensure the future health of the aerospace industry.
"This report is another proactive step our industry is taking to make sure we have the skilled workforce we need to continue to bolster the U.S. economy and national security," Blakey said.
The aerospace industry is faced with the loss of a significant portion of its skilled workforce as current employees near retirement and a younger wave has not materialized to replace them. Almost 60 percent of the workforce was age 45 or older in 2007 and reaching - or already at - retirement eligibility.
The report also documents the steps companies within the aerospace industry are taking to address workforce issues. On average, AIA members spend about $8 million each year on STEM education programs; larger companies spend an average of $10 million.
The report, released today, is available at www.aia-aerospace.org.