(Provided by the Office of Governor Bob MdDonnell)
RICHMOND – Today Governor Bob McDonnell released the Aviation and Space Workforce Development Analysis and Strategy Development. The report highlights the aviation and space industries’ current employment levels and future projections for growth. According to the report, approximately 12,000 new employees will be required to fill positions that include airline pilots, aircraft mechanics and technicians, aerospace engineers, mechanical engineers, air traffic controllers and other technical jobs that require strong science, engineering, technology and mathematics (STEM) skills.
“The goals of the report were to determine the current size and impact of the Commonwealth’s aviation and space industry, project industry growth, identify core workforce support entities and to isolate any gaps in the current workforce,” governor McDonnell said. “We plan to implement these recommendations leading Virginia in a direction to capture a greater share of the nation’s industry growth.”
Additional goals are to enhance interest in STEM-related careers by focusing on the educational pipeline and include secondary education, increase industry visibility through promotional and marketing efforts, develop a statewide strategic plan mentorship programs to transfer institutional knowledge from the senior generation to the younger generation of the workforce as well as place former military personnel with defense contractors.
Implementation of the recommendations will be executed as a joint effort between the Department of Aviation, the Virginia Department of Education, and aviation and space industry partners. The Virginia Department of Education and the Virginia Community College System identified several existing programs that support the recommendations and provided guidance on developing programs that strengthen STEM-related skills.
The report was commissioned through the collaboration of the working group—Working Smarter Alliance—which consisted of industry partners including the Office of the Secretary of Education, NASA Langley Research Center, the National Association of Manufacturers Institute and the Federal Aviation Administration.
The report was developed by the Performance Management Group (PMG) in the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs at Virginia Commonwealth University and was based upon the results of the technical study Virginia’s Aviation and Aerospace State of the Workforce 2011 completed by Chmura Economics and Analytics.
Copies of the report can be found at: http://www.transportation.virginia.gov