The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has announced the Aviation Maintenance Technical Workforce Development Grant Program to increase interest and recruit students for careers in aviation maintenance. The goal is to provide grants to academia and the aviation community to help prepare a more inclusive talent pool of aviation maintenance technicians, to inspire and recruit the next generation of aviation professionals.
Congress appropriated $5 million in Fiscal Year 2020 to fund projects to address the projected shortages of aviation maintenance technical workers in the aviation industry. Eligible groups may apply for grants from $25,000 to $500,000 for any one grant in any one fiscal year. Potential applicants may visit the website for more information.
The FAA posted the announcement in the Federal Register today (September 8, 2020) and will accept public comments until Sept. 23, 2020.
The aviation workforce development grants for aviation maintenance technical workers support proposals that generate and increase interest and prepare students to pursue aviation maintenance careers.
Types of Projects
The types of projects supported under the new Aviation Maintenance Technical Workers workforce development grants:
- Establish new educational programs that teach technical skills used in aviation maintenance, including purchasing equipment, or to improve existing such programs
- Enhance aviation maintenance technical education or aviation maintenance industry workforce
- To establish scholarships or apprenticeships for individuals pursuing employment in the aviation maintenance industry
- Support outreach about careers in the aviation maintenance industry to:
- Primary, secondary, and post-secondary school students,
- Communities under-represented in the industry
- Support transition to careers in aviation maintenance, including members of the Armed Forces
- Support educational opportunities related to aviation maintenance in economically disadvantaged geographic areas
Section 625 of the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 identified entities as eligible to apply for the Aviation Maintenance Technical Workers workforce development grants. The FAA understands that accepting applications from individual entities within any of the three categories above is consistent with congressional intent.
- Holders of a certificate issued under Parts 21, 121, 135, or 145 of 14 CFR, or labor organizations representing aviation maintenance workers
- Accredited higher education institutions (20 U.S.C. 1001), or secondary schools or high schools (20 U.S.C. 7801)
- State or local governmental entities
The Aviation Workforce Development Grant Programs appear as a note to 49 U.S.C. 40101. The note material entitled “Aviation Workforce Development Programs” incorporates Section 625 of the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 (Public Law 115-254).
Congress appropriated $5 million for the program for the first time in the fiscal year 2020 budget. The FAA may award between $25,000 and $500,000 (the ceiling established by legislation) for any one grant in any one fiscal year.
This grant program is competitive. The FAA reserves the right to award grants based on the quantity and quality of proposals received in response to the Notice of Funding Opportunity. The expectation is to fund a minimum of 10 proposals. A list of grant recipients will be available on this site following selection.
The FAA will not reimburse any pre-award or application preparation costs, or for facility construction or research activities.
Match or Cost Sharing
The FAA Workforce Development Grant enabling legislation does not require matching contributions in this program. Individual entities, teams, and new providers can apply for a grant. The FAA encourages applicants to partner with others as appropriate to:
- Satisfy Congressional intent and meet the requirements of the selection criteria
- Reach and include students and in various geographic and economic areas
- Help the applicant provide additional opportunities, assistance, and resources to ensure success and sustainability
The FAA anticipates releasing an initial Notice of Funding Opportunity later this year. Application packages will be accepted electronically on grants.gov up to 11:59 p.m. Eastern time of the closing date. The FAA intends to only accept electronic applicants. Potential applicants are encouraged to create accounts on grants.gov and can review samples of forms on that website.
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The FAA is not accepting applications for the Aviation Maintenance Technical Workers workforce development grants right now. We plan to post a Notice of Funding Opportunity on grants.gov that will include application details and deadlines. Check back here for updated information.