Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Matching skilled workers with aerospace employers

This started in 1916 with one small-aircraft business and has now grown to 740 companies, which currently employ 96,900 workers.
"What is the aerospace industry in Washington state?" is correct!
With almost 100 years of experience manufacturing and assembling the best planes on Earth, it is no wonder Washington is the aerospace capital of the United States.
As of 2011, all commercial aircraft over 100 seats built in the United States are assembled and delivered right here. Yes, even with Boeing's new plant in South Carolina, 90 percent of the company's production is in Washington.
But it's not easy being the best and the largest in the field; it takes lots of highly skilled workers to get the job done well and maintain our outstanding reputation. That's where it gets tricky because thousands of aerospace workers will be retiring in the next few years. Meanwhile, production will continue increasing, which means the demand for a qualified workforce will also be higher.
The Center of Excellence for Aerospace and Advanced Materials Manufacturing, a one-stop resource hub for the industry's education and training needs, created this nifty online tool that will make it easier for aerospace companies to find skilled workers.
The website lists graduates from 18 of Washington state's community colleges, in nine aerospace-related fields, so employers can search for graduates with specific skill sets.

There is plenty of work ahead to satisfy the industry's demand, but Washington is on it. In recent years, we have taken important steps to create and expand aerospace and manufacturing training programs. In fact, just a year ago, during the December special session, the Legislature passed three measures to shore up our aerospace industry.
Want to learn more? Back in April, Mary Kaye Bredeson, director of Everett Community College's Center of Excellence for Aerospace and Advanced Materials Manufacturing, wrote this op-ed on how community colleges are helping aerospace soar.

To read this story in Spanish, please click here.