he American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) has joined the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) to organize and host the National Aerospace & Defense (A&D) Workforce Summit, September 7–8, in Washington, DC. Leaders from industry, government, and academia will gather to discuss challenges and plans for the future of STEM education and workforce development.

“The adequacy and size of the U.S. STEM workforce continues to be an ongoing concern for the aerospace and defense community,” said Sandy Magnus, AIAA executive director. “Scientists and engineers are essential to U.S innovation and economic growth, and much more needs to be done to inspire generations of Americans to study science, technology, engineering, and math so that the United States remains the most technically advanced nation in the world.”

“For the U.S. aerospace and defense industry to remain competitive, we need students entering the workforce to be proficient in ‘soft skills or executive functioning skills’ such as critical thinking, problem solving, communications and collaboration skills as well as mastering STEM skills,” said AIA President and CEO David F. Melcher. “Our member companies are investing heavily in strengthening this skill set through a number of different STEM-related programs, both individually and through our association. Together, our efforts are helping to build our future workforce, which is the backbone of innovation for our nation.”

AIA and AIAA last partnered to hold a national workforce forum in 2008. Both organizations have been active in programmatic support and advocacy for STEM education and workforce development in the intervening years. With the presidential campaign in its final months and a change in administration occurring this January the summit takes place at an ideal time to assess the current state of A&D workforce and what needs to be done going forward to sustain and advance this critical national asset and long-term priority.

The event is sponsored by 180 Skills LLC, The Boeing Company, Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology, Lockheed Martin Corporation, and Rolls-Royce.

About AIAA

The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) is more than 30,000 engineers and scientists from 88 countries dedicated to the global aerospace profession. AIAA convenes five yearly forums; publishes books, technical journals, and Aerospace America; hosts a collection of 140,000 technical papers; develops and maintains standards; honors and celebrates achievement; and advocates on policy issues. AIAA serves aerospace professionals around the world—who are shaping the future of aerospace—by providing the tools, insights, and collaborative exchanges to advance the state of the art in engineering and science for aviation, space, and defense. For more information, visit www.aiaa.org, or follow us on Twitter @AIAA

About AIA

Founded in 1919 shortly after the birth of flight, the Aerospace Industries Association is the most authoritative and influential trade association representing the nation’s leading manufacturers and suppliers of civil, military and business aircraft, helicopters, unmanned aircraft systems, space systems, aircraft engines, homeland and cybersecurity systems, materiel and related components, equipment services and information technology. For more information, visit www.aia-aerospace.org, or follow us on Twitter @AIAspeaks.