Aviation needs to increase its workforce; underrepresented communities are great source for new professionals

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FORECASTS for Pilots, mechanics and other aviation professionals = SHORTAGE

STEM students appear to be deficient for future needs

Several creative initiatives to find candidates from underserved communities

It is axiomatic that there is a shortfall in all job categories in the aviation profession; the evidence comes from many sources and points to the full range of essential workers-

·      Skilled Labor Shortage (Crisis) in Aviation & Aerospace

·      ICAO Addresses Shortage of Skilled Aviation Professionals 

·      Boeing Pilot and Technician Outlook 2020–2039

·      An Update on the Precarious State of the Aviation Industry

This crisis message was loud enough to reach Capitol Hill, where legislation was passed: FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 (the Act) (Pub. L. 115-254). Section 625 of the Act Aviation Workforce Development Grant Program and then the FAA issued FAA Aircraft Pilots Workforce Development Grant Program and also the Aviation Maintenance Technical Workers Workforce Development Grant program.

FAA workforce grants



Also there are some very compelling initiatives directly involving employers and other groups. For example, here are a few, notably searching for underrepresented candidates:



·      Auburn’s OBAP chapter teams up with United Airlines for leadership opportunity

Aviation Management and Professional Flight students learned about multiple divisions of United’s operations and to give them access to the inner-workings of a commercial airline. All the  students are officers of the OBAP, or Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals, chapter at Auburn, which promotes diversity in the aviation industry,  Auburn alumni Jason Mohrman, United Operations Supervisor OBAP alumni mentor coordinator Chris Watson and Captain George Kling, United Flight Training Instructor helped create this link.

OBAP @ United


Boeing wants to inspire more Latino and Black men to enter the state’s STEM and advanced manufacturing fields — with the help of Clemson University. The aerospace com

Boeing VP Colbert

pany announced its sponsorship of Clemson’s 2021 Men of Color National Summit, support of Call Me Mister graduates through a workforce development program and a full STEM Tiger Alliance Scholarship today. Ted Colbert, executive vice president and CEO of Boeing Global Services, will speak at the summit, scheduled for Nov. 4-5 in Greenville, while the company will finance the attendance fee for 400 Tiger Alliance students and 100 students from South Carolina’s Interstate-95 corridor. In addition, the investment establishes a STEM track for attendees.






Now that Girl Scouts of Western Washington (GSWW) has brought back in-person camp, we’ve partnered with Boeing, Alaska Airlines and The Museum of Flight to create a hybrid, five-day Twilight Aviation Camp on August 9-14. Girl Scouts will get to meet top women in commercial and military aviation virtually and then come together for hands-on experiences to learn about careers in the field. Twilight Aviation Camp will be a highlight of summer, featuring virtual and in-person events for older Girl Scouts (Cadettes, Seniors, & Ambassadors – 6-12th graders). With the support of partners, GSWW has lined up exciting speakers, including a pilot from Alaska Airlines, NASA representatives, and a docent from The Museum of Flight. 



Tuskegee Airmen Inc. is investing in the next generation of aviators, with the RedTail Flight Academy, by providing six inaugural scholarships for a program. The academy, based at the New York Stewart International Airport in New Windsor, is set to provide a 10-month curriculum while certifying students from 18-21 with “a FAA Part 141 multi-engine commercial pilot license and an instrument rating,” according to a press release.

TAI encourages innovative aviation programs—such as the RedTail Flight Academy—to create a bridge to the future for underserved and minority aviators, Tuskegee Airmen Inc. Board President Jerry “Hawk” Burton said in the announcement. “This program is a great opportunity for eligible students across our 53 local chapters to be considered as candidates for the RedTail Flight Academy’s inaugural class.”

Tuskegee airmen and Red Tail Academy








  • Delta is leading a new program for collegiate aviation students called Delta Propel – Collegiate Pilot Career Path Your career as a Delta Air Lines pilot is now within reach. We believe you can help take our airline to even greater heights in the future.

delta jobs


  • The Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals (OBAP) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the education and advancement of minorities in all aviation and aerospace careers. OBAP’s Project Aerospace offers annual opportunities to inform and prepare aspiring aerospace professionals for their future careers.OBAP

















This is hardly a comprehensive inventory of these outreach efforts. PLEASE PUT ANY SIMILAR PROGRAMS IN THE COMMENTS SECTION (below).





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2 Comments on "Aviation needs to increase its workforce; underrepresented communities are great source for new professionals"

  1. Hi Sandy, Women in Aviation International (www.WAI.org) is currently offering 100 WAI2022 scholarships with applications due by October 12, 2021. WAI members can apply for up to three scholarships. All details are at http://www.WAI.org/education/scholarships. The 7th Annual International Girls in Aviation Day will be held September 25, 2021, for participants ages 8-17. Check out our growing list of chapter and corporate member events at http://www.WAI.org/girls-aviation-day-2021. There is also information about the WAI Aviation for Girls App available to download for free and year-round. Best, Kelly Murphy

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