AEPA Seeks Congressional Legislation to Address Workforce Challenges 

The Aerospace Education Program Alliance (AEPA) is urging industry to support the enactment of legislation that would, for the first time, bring government, industry and education together to address critical shortages in the aviation and aerospace workforce. Support for the Aerospace Workforce Development Program would grow the workforce and increase access for those interested in aviation/aerospace careers.

The organization, which arose out of the Youth Access to Aviation Jobs in America Task Force, is urging aviation, aerospace and defense companies and associations to support the Aerospace Workforce Development Program which is on the cusp of being introduced in Congress. 

“While educational funding for aviation/aerospace education is a major issue for aerospace education programs, funding alone will not solve the workforce problem,” said AEPA CEO Dr. Ralph K. Coppola, in describing the reason behind the initiative. “The key to solving the workforce problem is a developing a process to focus resources on the programs that are successfully addressing the workforce issue.”

The Aerospace Workforce Development Program has two parts. (1) Modification of Department of Defense aerospace contracts to include aerospace education programs as subcontractors; and (2) Establish an Aerospace Education Program List on the DoD website where companies will find effective education programs to partner with and invest in as subcontractors. The list will rank aerospace education programs based on their contribution to the workforce.

The legislation grew out of the Congressionally mandated youth task force. To be eligible for education subcontracts, aerospace education organizations must show that they are effective in addressing workforce shortages in pilot, aircraft maintenance, aerospace engineering, manufacturing and other technically related fields. 

The proposed legislation is the second, industry-wide initiative bringing task force recommendations to fruition with the first being the creation of AEPA itself. 

AEPA is asking Aviation, Aerospace and Defense companies and organizations to join more than 20 organizations and businesses who have already signed on to a letter supporting this program which is below.

To view the letter click here

To support the introduction of this legislation: Click the link to the Google form to add your organization’s name to the letter.