The Aeronautical Repair Station Association (ARSA) delivered a letter to the U.S. House of Representatives last week urging strong support for and swift approval of bipartisan legislation to reauthorize, reform and improve the Carl D. Perkins Act, the primary dedicated federal funding source for career and technical education programs. The association’s membership consistently cites the shortage of skilled technical workers as a top policy concern.
“From an advocacy standpoint, workforce development is becoming a ‘category killer,’ so to speak. Every business in every industry in every state is facing the same trouble finding technically skilled workers. The effects ripple up and down supply chains and across markets, leaving money on the table for companies and out of the pockets of the hard-working men and women we all depend on to keep the world moving,” Brett Levanto, v-p of operations for Obadal, Filler, MacLeod & Klein, the firm that manages ARSA, told AIN.
“There are plenty of causes—changing demographics, shifting curricula away from hands-on skills, bias against careers in the trades. But the solutions all start at the same spot: connecting industry leaders with educational bodies right in their own communities and providing a structure in which schools can start teaching employable, in-demand skills and giving our students what they need to build useful, dynamic careers,” he added. “We like to remind people that you can’t fly without AMTs. In this case, failing to build a dependable, highly skilled workforce will ground us all.”