The Ohio Aerospace job sector is expected to increase by 14% in and around Dayton, Ohio. News of this increase has acted as the starting gun to begin the race for leaders in business, education, and economic development to get students in line for the various job opportunities.
Attention has focused particularly on the retention of college graduates in the science, technology, and engineering fields. News of the infusion of these new Aerospace job opportunities has helped create a fertile environment fostering internship opportunities for various organizations.
The state Aerospace and Business Aviation Advisory Council has found that with 100,133 full time employees, the Ohio Aerospace job sector is the second largest technology industry in the state. The Dayton Daily News recently quoted the Dayton Development Coalition’s executive vice president and chief strategic officer, Joe Zeis:
“As the Air Force, because of budgetary pressures, has moved away from a significant number of internships, the ability of our businesses and industries here in the region to provide internships in these advanced engineering programs and applications is absolutely crucial.”
Each year $9 billion is invested in aerospace research and development and testing in the state of Ohio, according to JobsOhio. The Dayton Daily News continued:
“Global aircraft demand is projected to increase by more than 35 percent by 2019, according to the state aerospace council. Thirty percent of U.S. aircraft engine manufacturing is located in Ohio and the adjacent states of Indiana and Michigan. Locally, aerospace systems employment is projected to increase 13.9 percent from 18,940 jobs last year to 21,570 in 2016, according to the Dayton Development Coalition.”
Ohio colleges and universities are seeking to support Air Force research and development and other base-related industries by aligning their curriculum with these emphases. There is a need for an increase in the region’s workforce in order to fully take advantage of the future aerospace opportunities. Dan Curtis, president of the Dayton-Wright chapter of the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association (AFCEA) recently said regarding this growth:
“We need to make sure that we have the most vital, educated and prepared aerospace workforce to support existing missions and any potential new mission opportunities that might come as a result of a future BRAC.”
There is a need to be prepared to pounce on the plethora of aerospace opportunities a base closure and realignment initiative may bring. Curtis and AFCEA are not merely spouting theoretical goals, they are actually seeking to fill this need by helping to create an infrastructure that will ensure future growth. In March they collaborated with the Southwestern Ohio Council for Higher Education (SOCHE) to begin an intern program with Ohio businesses. Further, in March the SOCHE is seeking to increase local internships from 8,000 to 20,000 by 2020. Dayton is showing promising signs of a fruitful future for those seeking work in the Aerospace industry.
Noah works with the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, and is an evangelical Christian trained in theological studies. He lives on Capitol Hill with his wife and two children. You can follow him at his blog www.noahbraymen.blogspot.com.