On Monday, Oct. 24, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Chair of the Aviation Operations, Safety and Security Subcommittee, will hold a U.S. Senate field hearing at Seattle’s Museum of Flight titled, “The Aviation Workforce: Training Needs and Challenges.”
The hearing is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the William M. Allen Theater, and is open to the public.
The Aviation Subcommittee’s hearing will examine local and federal efforts to foster the development of a 21st century aviation workforce to meet the needs of a rapidly growing aerospace industry. The aerospace industry in Washington state currently employs 83,700 people, representing more than one-sixth of all aerospace workers in the nation. In 2010, Washington state exported over $23.3 billion in aerospace products — 30% of all U.S. aerospace exports.
A concern for the aviation industry and government leaders is making sure there are enough skilled workers to fill aviation-related jobs, officials note.
Key issues to be addressed at the hearing include:
- Employer and worker needs;
- Efforts to develop and expand educational programs that support aviation and aerospace training;
- Workforce initiatives that establish, prepare and grow a pipeline of students who are career-ready for scientific, technical, engineering, and math (STEM) opportunities;
- Life-long learning strategies;
- Government efforts to partner with industry to foster innovation and collaboration.
- Tom McCarty, President, Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace (SPEEA), International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers Local 2001
- Mark Seiber, Plant Manager, GE Aviation, Yakima, Wash.
- Randall Julin, General Manager, Absolute Aviation Service, Spokane, Wash.
- Jim Bearden, Administrative Assistant, Aerospace Machinists Industrial – District Lodge 751, International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers
- James Hermanson, Chair, Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, University of Washington
- Michael Greenwood, Senior Manager, Aerospace Academic Alignment Team, The Boeing Company
- Laura Hopkins, Executive Director, Aerospace Joint Apprenticeship Committee
- Cyndi Schaeffer, Executive Director, Edmonds Community College Business and Training Center
- Joe Dunlap, President, Spokane Community College
- Reba Gilman, Principal and Chief Executive Office, Aviation High School, Des Moines, Wash.