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Local Solutions with National Applications to Address Aerospace Industry Workforce Needs

Additional Aerospace Industry

In October 2004, the U.S. Department of Labor has announced a series of initial investments totaling nearly
$3 million to address the workforce needs of the aerospace industry. In 2002, DOL invested $4 million to train incumbent aerospace workers. The Department’s efforts complement the workforce recommendations of the Commission on the Future of the United States Aerospace Industry.

DOL has sought to understand and implement industry-identified strategies to confront critical workforce shortages. It has listened to employers, industry association representatives, and taken into account the key challenges identified by theCommission, including the aging aerospace workforce and a loss of technical talent. DOL’s Employment and Training Administration is supporting comprehensive business, education, and workforce development partnerships that have developed innovative approaches that address the workforce needs of business while also effectively helping workers find good jobs with good wages and promising career pathways in the aerospace industry.

This set of workforce solutions is based on the aerospace industry’s priorities that address issues such as:

  • Expanding the pipeline of youth entering the aerospace industry;
  • Helping alternative labor pools gain industry-defined skills and competencies;
  • Developing alternative training strategies, such as apprenticeship, distance learning, and accelerated training, for training aerospace professionals;
  • Developing tools and curriculum for enhancing the skills of aerospace professionals for nationwide distribution;
  • Enhancing the capacity of educational institutions to train to industry-defined competencies;
  • Developing industry-defined career ladders and lattices and corresponding competency models and curriculum;
  • Developing strategies to retain and help incumbent workers move into higher level positions;
  • Assisting transitioning individuals from declining industries to high growth industries by building on their existing skills and training them for high growth aerospace occupations.

The grants are intended to provide genuine solutions, leadership, and models for partnerships that can be replicated in different parts of the country.