Sept. 28, 2022

The FAA’s Youth Access to American Jobs in Aviation (YIATF) Task Force, which was launched two years ago to address the industry’s workforce shortage, recently delivered 21 recommendations to the agency that are designed to convince more young people to consider an aviation career.

Review the final report.

Among the suggestions, the task force wants to encourage high school students to complete career and technical education courses, including STEM classes that will prepare them for an aviation career at a university, a community college or trade school. The task force also wants to also encourage these students to enroll in courses in aviation manufacturing, engineering and maintenance, which identify pathways to apprenticeships, workforce development programs or careers in the industry.

NBAA was represented on the task force by Jo Damato, CAM, senior vice president; education, training and workforce development, who served on the Expanded Pathways subcommittee.

“We want to convince young people aviation is for them and remove the financial barriers to entry for them to succeed,” she said. “The task force wants the FAA to look at creating stackable aviation maintenance credentials within high school programs to lead students to entry-level aviation positions faster while gaining needed experience.”

The task force also is recommending the creation of regional advisory councils that mirror the FAA’s nine regions, which “can embrace the concept of engaging industry, academia, employers, teachers [and] students regionally,” Damato said.

“That’s probably going to be the most effective,” she added. ”And the idea that they stay connected through some type of national coalition is terrific. That’s probably one of our most important recommendations, because it’s all about awareness, awareness, awareness. How are we going to get underrepresented youth to know these jobs are out there if we’re not spending time with them face to face and talking to them about aviation as a career path.”

All 21 task force members were drawn from companies across the industry like Boeing, Southwest Airlines, JetBlue Airlines, Cirrus Aircraft and associations that included NBAA, the Aeronautical Repair Station Association and the Air Line Pilots Association. A few of the academic institutions represented include Wichita State University, Karnes City High School, Vaughn College and Elkins Park School.

Task force members served on one of four sub committees, each with goals that demanded a deep dive into aviation industry trends, methods of creating awareness among all workforce development stakeholders, identifying pathways such as job skills training, mentorships, education, and outreach programs and of course, identifying all possible government and private source funding to support their recommendations.

View the Full YIATF Task Force Meeting