CHOOSE AEROSPACE PARTNERs with aircraft owners and pilots association ON AVIATION EDUCATION, WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT
JENKS, Oklahoma--Choose Aerospace and the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association Foundation signed an agreement to establish a formal collaboration on their aviation education and workforce pipepline initiatives.
The parties will collaborate to “identify curriculum alignment, jointly promote each other’s educational materials, and pursue grant funding opportunities related to aviation,” according to the memorandum of understanding. The organizations hope that efforts to share ideas, best practices, and training resources will help both to meet the ongoing and increasing demand for pilots and mechanics.
Key elements from the MOU, signed October 5, include review of curriculum benchmarks and competencies between the AOPA Foundation High School Aviation STEM Curriculum and the Choose Aerospace Aviation Maintenance Curriculum; cross-promotion of content and materials through websites, newsletters, social media, and joint presentations to schools/districts and industry events; and exploration of grant funding proposals related to K-12 aviation education.
Recent data distributed by The Boeing Company forecasts the need for 690,000 technicians over the next 20 years—and this does not include business or general aviation demands. Domestic air travel has returned to pre-pandemic levels, and international travel is expected to return by 2024. Meanwhile, new sectors such as advanced air mobility are emerging and will demand a highly skilled workforce.
The AOPA Foundation and Choose Aerospace play key roles in helping industry meet this this demand, workforce, providing education, training and employment pathways in the communities they serve.
“This agreement allows the AOPA Foundation and Choose Aerospace to collaborate more closely,” said Glenn Ponas, AOPA Foundation director of high school outreach. “Together, we will be able to provide our respective curricula and resources to school districts and career technical centers and support them in creating pathways to careers as pilots, drone pilots, and aviation maintenance technicians.”
The collaboration with the AOPA Foundation is the first of multiple efforts from Choose Aerospace to coordination and collaborate with partner aviation programs and resources. By working to reduce the duplication of efforts and provide educators with a comprehensive set of tools, Choose Aerospace will support wide-spread adoption of aviation programs that can meet both student needs and fill regional and aviation and aerospace workforce demands.
“Aviation industry stakeholders recognize the need to invest resources and collaborate as part of developing a sustainable, diverse workforce,” said Ryan Goertzen, Vice President Workforce Development at AAR Corp and President of Choose Aerospace. “The Choose Aerospace-AOPA Foundation partnership will help both organizations maximize their already-productive efforts to feed aerospace’s workforce pipeline.”
The partnership will be announced at the first AOPA Aviation and Aerospace Workforce Development Summit, which will be hosted at the Hyatt Regency Orlando International Airport on November 12. The AOPA You Can Fly High School Aviation STEM Symposium will follow the summit November 12 through 14. Both events are open to organizations that offer high school aviation curricula and resources.
Register for the summit here.
Register for the symposium here.
Since 1939, AOPA has protected the freedom to fly by creating an environment that gives people of all ages the opportunity to enjoy aviation and all it has to offer. AOPA is the world's largest community of pilots, aircraft owners and aviation enthusiasts, with representatives based in Frederick, Md., Washington, D.C., and seven regions across the United States. The association provides member services, including advocacy at the federal, state, and local levels, legal services, flight training and safety programs, and award-winning media. AOPA specializes in making aviation more accessible to everyone. To learn more, visit www.aopa.org.
ABOUT CHOOSE AEROSPACE
Choose Aerospace is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit partnership of aerospace stakeholders joined together to increase the availability of a diverse, qualified, technical workforce to support industry growth. A primary objective for Choose Aerospace is to make aerospace career and technical training a priority in secondary schools and to provide multiple career paths to success within the industry. Its aviation maintenance curriculum provides a resource for secondary and community-based programs to develop pathways to Federal Aviation Administration mechanic certification. For more information, visit chooseaerospace.org/curriculum.