Press Release

AIA Members Intensify Support for Workforce and Education Initiatives

By SpaceRef Editor
September 15, 2008
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Arlington, Va. – Alarmed over the critical need to develop the next generation of workers for America’s aerospace industry, AIA’s member companies have committed to an agenda to strengthen the workforce of the future in a new report, “Launch into Aerospace.”

“Launch into Aerospace” identifies the goals and actions industry will take to address the workforce challenge. They include each company designating a senior executive responsible for implementing the company’s commitment to workforce revitalization and supporting Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics education initiatives.

“The workforce crisis cuts across all sectors of our industry and affects every member company,” AIA President and CEO Marion Blakey said. “This report is a statement of our commitment and resolve to move forward as an industry while working with government and other stakeholders to develop solutions.”

According to AIA statistics, in 2007 almost 60 percent of the workforce was age 45 or older and reaching retirement eligibility. Additionally, America’s requirement for workers who are well-educated in science, technology, engineering and mathematics is not being met.

America’s failure to produce enough qualified aerospace professionals will jeopardize our leadership in innovation, eventually endangering the nation’s defense. Security requirements dictate that most U.S. aerospace and defense systems be developed by citizens. By not meeting this workforce need, the future of aerospace technology is at risk, the report states.

A number of AIA member companies report that within 10 years half of their workforce will be eligible for retirement, underscoring the need for action and for industry collaboration. However, the report also cites the impediments to achieving progress, including competitiveness within the industry and the press of the bottom line.

AIA is developing a second workforce report that will take a closer look at the issue and detail industry’s actions and recommendations. For more information on careers in aerospace, visit, AIA’s Web site for students.

View the workforce report online here.

SpaceRef staff editor.