Workforce Development Focus of National Apprenticeship Week

Apprenticeship is a long-honored tradition in aviation maintenance training and workforce development. Unsplash

The U.S. Department of Labor is hosting their fifth annual National Apprenticeship Week (NAW) November 11-17, 2019, with more than 700 events already registered to participate. A number of aviation and aerospace companies are planning events as a way to augment their current workforce and develop the next generation of technicians, engineers, managers and office staff.

Established in 2014, NAW brings together business leaders, labor, educational institutions, and Americans interested in apprenticeships to showcase the impact apprenticeship programs have on closing the U.S. skills gap and preparing the American workforce for the jobs of today and tomorrow.

“Apprenticeships are one of the most effective ways to develop a highly skilled workforce,” Acting U.S. Secretary of Labor Patrick Pizzella said. The U.S. Department of Labor stated that “apprenticeships are high-quality career pathways that employers can develop to prepare their future workforce. NAW has been responsible for more than 2,000 apprenticeship-focused events attended by more than 200,000 participants across all 50 states since its creation. With 7.2 million job openings in the United States, apprenticeships help employers develop and prepare their future workforce, and individuals can obtain paid work experience, classroom instruction, and transferable credentials.”

The NAW program has been widely acclaimed and has generated three Presidential proclamations and nearly 300 proclamations from governors, mayors, state senators, and numerous industry and labor unions to affirm their commitment to apprenticeship.

A 2019 Facts and Figures Report published by the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) said, “In 2018, the aerospace and defense industry supported over 2.5 million American jobs, a 3.7 percent increase from the previous year. For 2018, the average wage and benefits of an aerospace and defense industry worker [were] $92,742, while the average salary of an American worker [was] $49,389. In total, the aerospace and defense industry paid nearly $237 billion in wages and benefits in 2018, a 7.72-percent increase from the previous year.”

The U.S. Department of Labor has developed an online resource to learn about apprenticeships from both an employer and apprentice perspective. A searchable interactive map makes it easy to find NAW events in your area, with a form available to register to host a NAW event and be listed in their national listings.

Dan Pimentel is an instrument-rated private pilot and former airplane owner who has been flying since 1996. As an aviation journalist and photographer, he has covered all aspects of the general and business aviation communities for a long list of major aviation magazines, newspapers and websites. He has never met a flying machine that he didn’t like, and has written about his love of aviation for years on his Airplanista blog. For 10 years until 2019, he hosted the popular ‘Oshbash’ social media meetup events at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh.

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