The U.S. House yesterday overwhelmingly approved a bill to create a center that would help foster aviation and aerospace workforce development.
Introduced by Rep. Andre Carson (D-Indiana), the National Center for the Advancement of Aviation Act of 2021, H.R.3482, would establish a private, tax-exempt organization that would support development of aviation and aerospace education curricula and educators, promote employment opportunities in the industry, and support military personnel seeking to transition into aviation or aerospace careers.
In addition, the center would act as a central repository for economic data, safety data, and research related to the aviation and aerospace sectors. Further, it would serve as a forum for collaboration among stakeholders and may issue grants to organizations involved in education and training.
Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) president and CEO Eric Fanning called passage a “welcome step” and urged the Senate to quickly move on the bill or on similar legislation by Sen. James Inhofe (R-Oklahoma).
“With employee turnover rising, tough competition for talent, and more retirements on the horizon, the country needs holistic, creative, long-term solutions to our workforce challenges from both the industry and the government,” Fanning said. “Training resources, in-depth research and analysis, and ongoing collaboration between all stakeholders will be key to developing the next generation of highly skilled aviation and aerospace workers and to ensuring the U.S. remains the global leader in this industry.”
The bill passed by a 369 to 56 vote.