The PIA Pittsburgh Campus hosted Allen Norton, Workforce Development Executive for the PA Chamber of Business and Industry last week. Mr. Norton’s visit is a part of PIA’s continued efforts to inform and educate area leaders on the value of an aviation education. Mr. Norton’s role includes developing and implementing the organization’s workforce program, which is designed to help close the skills gap in Pennsylvania and prepare individuals for jobs of the 21st century. In addition to touring PIA, Mr. Norton was able to tour several other companies and schools in Pennsylvania.
Mr. Norton spoke of the opportunities available for aviation technicians in a workforce dominated by collegiate degrees. “PIA is a fantastic postsecondary option for students seeking a smooth landing after graduation,” said Norton. He noted that 43% of recent university graduates are considered ‘underemployed’, while the demand in the aviation industry allows students a “…runway to success.”
The ‘skills gap‘ refers to the lack of technical workers needed in the trade industries. The ‘gap’ has continued to expand in the last decade as high schools graduates have largely gravitated towards traditional four-year educations instead of trade school options. While a lack of a skilled workforce has plagued many technical industries, aviation has been particularly hit hard by the effects of the skills gap. A large portion of aviation technicians are at or near retirement age while new entrants to the field make up a very small percentage.
PIA is honored for the support of the PA Chamber of Business and Industry as we work towards addressing the skills gap.
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