Workforce Needs for Aerospace Industry in North Carolina

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CED Program Interns & Students

Picture1Will Lambe is the Director of the Community-Campus Partnership and Associate Director for the Community & Economic Development Program.

Last Summer, Regional Technology Strategies prepared an assessment for the Golden LEAF Foundation on workforce issues relating to the emerging aerospace industry in North Carolina. A few interesting findings:

  • NC is home to over 200 aerospace firms employing approximately 11,000
  • Aerospace industry in NC grew by 60% (adding 4,085 new jobs) from 2002-2007
  • Aerospace is one of the highest paying industries in NC paying on average over $70,000
  • Of the state’s 11,000 aerospace workers, 80% are production jobs and 20% are design/engineering jobs
  • National data suggest that that the state’s aerospace industry will require an additional 6,000 workers over the next decade
  • According to survey and interview data, aerospace companies more frequently look to community colleges and universities as sources for new employees, rather than high schools
  • Community colleges in rural areas have difficulty securing resources to fund physical space and equipment for aerospace-related training

The report concludes with strategic recommendations to generate more interest in aerospace careers, to strengthen institutional capacity in schools and colleges and to develop new systems that will meet the workforce needs of future aerospace industry employers.

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