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Shaping the Future of Work

Modernizing the skies will call for a more STEM-ready workforce

Inside the Dreamline Aviation hangar at the Van Nuys Airport, industry experts discussed solutions to the STEM skills gap at WorkingNation's Town Hall Discussion.
The aerospace industry is struggling to meet shifting demands of the workforce as innovation changes the way we fly. FAA mandates have called for an overhaul of our air transportation systems, from air traffic communications to more fuel-efficient routes, and aerospace companies big and small are seeking solutions to a STEM skills gap in the workforce.

You might not be able to see it yet, but the skies above us are in the process of being transformed.

America’s air transport industry is undergoing a massive technological update of its planes and air traffic control. NextGen – short for the Next Generation Air Transportation System – is the Federal Aviation Administration-led modernization that is designed to answer the expected 20% increase in air traffic over the next decade.

The focus of NextGen is transitioning the ground-based air traffic control system to a GPS-based system by 2020. Going digital, according to the FAA, means less crowded and safer skies. Finding a workforce with the skills necessary to implement this new system is proving to be challenging. Aerospace companies have more than 27,000 unfilled jobs, according to Aviation Week’s 2017 U.S. Workforce Study released in September. Simply put – there’s a STEM labor shortage.

At the WorkingNation and YPO-Los Angeles Chapter town hall event Shaping the Future of Work in Van Nuys, California, we looked at solutions for closing the gap between the number of workers needed and the number of workers with the needed skills to handle the new technology. The conversation took place in Hangar 4, home base of Dreamline Aviation.

Town Halls is our signature digital series that shines the spotlight on the most innovative initiatives helping to train and re-skill Americans for the most in-demand jobs now and in the future.

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