While COVID-19 may have caused a temporary pause in the business aviation workforce shortage, in the longer term the industry needs to continue to encourage STEM education and interest young people in business aviation careers.
Fortunately, it’s never been easier for regional business aviation groups to engage with students, teachers, parents and guidance counselors about aviation careers.
A variety of materials are now available from NBAA – videos, brochures, posters and fact sheets. Programs such as the association’s Mentoring Network and numerous scholarships – from NBAA and a myriad of groups, schools and businesses – further support workforce development.
NBAA’s Local & Regional Group (LRG) Committee works closely with regional associations to share best practices on expanding workforce development programs.
“A variety of materials are now available from NBAA – videos, brochures, posters, fact sheets and even a magazine for students.”
“To help the groups, we’ve developed a “Top 5 Tips” fact sheet on business aviation career engagement,” said Marj Rose, LRG committee chair. “It’s five simple takeaways, and even if groups just do one or two, it’s still really helpful.”
Kyle Eiserer, LRG committee vice chair, agrees. “Get active and reach out,” he advises regional groups. “If you can’t do it all, decide which age group you want to get involved with, and decide what your focus will be.”
The five tips include links to a variety of NBAA resources:
- A four-minute video that can be used at speaking engagements
- Information on materials available for a student audience
- Reminders to encourage students to follow NBAA on social media
- The availability of scholarships and how to find them
- Ways students can get involved with aviation in their communities.
Resources for elementary and middle school students, high school students, as well as college students, are also included.
According to NBAA Western regional representative Phil Derner, some groups stay engaged with local schools regarding events and opportunities.
“The Arizona Business Aviation Association, for example, is in contact with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Prescott, AZ campus, which enables participation in Embry-Riddle career fairs,” said Derner. “The Northern California Business Aviation Association maintains relationships with local schools to recruit students to events such as a recent Maintenance Mentor Roundtable,” he added.
“Regional associations work year round to provide scholarships and support career days at local universities,” said LRG Education Lead Norah Lenardic. “Many support local aviation events. The groups are finding new ways to reach students, women, people of color – some of whom may have been missed with past engagement efforts, and who will be part of the future of our robust and evolving industry.”
Review NBAA’s resources for local and regional groups at nbaa.org/regional-library.
New Focus on Business Aviation Advocacy in Iowa
Business aircraft operators in Iowa have something to cheer about: a new regional group that is focused on their needs and concerns, as well as business aviation advocacy and workforce development in the Hawkeye State.
“Despite the fact that at least half of Iowa’s airports have some kind of business aviation operations, the state hasn’t had an active group to represent those operators,” said Nate Booth, interim president of the new Iowa Business Aviation Association (IBAA).
IBAA has ambitious plans to educate students in Iowa – those enrolled in aviation programs and otherwise – about career opportunities in business aviation.
“We then want to encourage those students to stay in Iowa,” said Booth.
The group plans on having quarterly meetings, with a teleconferencing option for members statewide.
IBAA also hopes to have a strong presence with legislators, in particular on sales- and use-tax issues, and the group is establishing good working relationships with state and local regulators.
“We want to serve as the one voice for Iowa business aviation,” declared Booth.