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Industry & Trends | Issues - Political | Official Reports | USA

AIA Concerned By Future Shortage of Qualified American Aerospace Workers

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The US aerospace industry forms the core of America’s native military-industrial capacity, and is a potent contributor to American trade balances and economic competitiveness. At the moment, however, the US aerospace industry has thousands of vacancies; and AIA’s statistics show almost 60% of its workforce at age 45 or older in 2007. Other surveys report that between 13%-27% of that workforce will be qualified for retirement by the end of 2008, and several AIA member firms report that within 10 years, fully half of their current workforce will be retirement-eligible. The news does not improve on the intake end. Overall, just 5% of bachelor’s degrees in the USA are engineering related, compared to 20% in Asia. American institutions award about 70,000 B.Eng degrees per year, including many engineering fields not related to aerospace. That figure rises to about 1/3 of bachelor’s degrees if science degrees are included, but many asian countries are well over 50% if those disciplines are aggregated. Worse, more than 50% of the engineering Ph.Ds awarded in the USA go to foreign nationals, many of whom are not eligible for US security clearances. That may have something to do with the fact that U.S. 4th-graders score well […]

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