La­bor short­ages boost ca­reer op­por­tu­ni­ties for women

Antelope Valley Press (Sunday) - - News -

Ana­tional short­age of males qual­i­fied for good jobs is boost­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for women in avi­a­tion and con­struc­tion, ac­cord­ing to re­cent reports.

As I have pre­vi­ously noted, good jobs and ca­reers are go­ing beg­ging in avi­a­tion and many other ca­reer fields due to the lack of qual­i­fied can­di­dates, in­clud­ing right here in the Aerospace Val­ley.

Two re­cent reports sug­gest that what hap­pened dur­ing World War II when women filled jobs va­cated by men who went off to war may be hap­pen­ing now for dif­fer­ent rea­sons.

Train­ing for many avi­a­tion ca­reers is avail­able in the U.S. Force, Navy, Marines and Coast Guard.

Un­like dur­ing the war years, there are open­ings for women as pi­lots in ad­di­tion to main­tain­ers and other po­si­tions and women have more than proven them­selves in com­bat.

The mil­i­tary per­son­nel short­age also af­fects the na­tion’s air­lines, which draw many of their em­ploy­ees from men and women who gained their train­ing in the armed ser­vices and trans­fer them to the air­line in­dus­try.

All this adds up to op­por­tu­ni­ties for women.

A re­cent study, “Women in Avi­a­tion: A Work­force Re­port,” says women “ac­count for less than 10% of pi­lots, air­line ex­ec­u­tives and main­te­nance tech­ni­cians, and this might be due to fac­tors such as an in­flex­i­ble work-life bal­ance, high train­ing costs and lack of early ex­po­sure to the field.”

Here in the Aerospace Val­ley, young women are ex­posed to the in­dus­try when they hear their first sonic boom, and ef­forts are un­der­way to ex­pand lo­cal ed­u­ca­tional op­por­tun­ties, ac­cord­ing to lo­cal ed­u­ca­tors.

Congress acts

Three mem­bers of Congress have rec­og­nized the need to re­cruit peo­ple into avi­a­tion and all other trans­porta­tion ca­reer fields

Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Rick Larsen (D-Washington), Don Young (R-Alaska) and Angie Craig (D-Min­nesita) jointly au­thored H.R.5118, known as the Pro­mot­ing Ser­vice in Trans­porta­tion Act, to boost aware­ness for thou­sands of avi­a­tion jobs that will need to be filled, ac­cord­ing to an ar­ti­cle in the Air­craft Own­ers and Pi­lots As­so­ci­a­tion news­let­ter.

“The avi­a­tion in­dus­try will need more than 800,000 pi­lots, 769,000 tech­ni­cians and nearly 20,000 air traf­fic con­trollers to meet de­mand over the next 10 years,” Con­gress­man Larsen wrote, ac­cord­ing to AOPA.

A Boe­ing study reports that the air­line will need 914,000 cabin crew mem­bers in ad­di­tion to the 1.57 mil­lion pi­lots and main­te­nance spe­cial­ists over the next 20 years, AOPA noted.

That num­ber is ex­pected to rise with re­tire­ments.

U.S. Bu­reau of La­bor Statis­tics re­search that me­dian an­nual wages for air­line pi­lots, co-pi­lots, and flight engi­neers was $140,340 in May 2018, and com­mer­cial pi­lots earned an av­er­age of $82,240, ac­cord­ing to the AOPA re­port.

The law­mak­ers say that avi­a­tion ca­reer op­por­tu­ni­ties should be pro­moted widely to “all Amer­i­cans.”

The bill di­rects the U.S. Depart­ment of Trans­po­ra­tion to use all forms of me­dia to get the word out on ca­reers in avi­a­tion and other forms of trans­porta­tion.

AOPA pre­vi­ously re­ported that fe­male pi­lots make up about 7% of all cer­tifi­cated pi­lots and the Philadel­phia Tri­bune noted that African-Amer­i­cans ac­count for less than 3% of com­mer­cial U.S. pi­lots.

The cam­paign will high­light avi­a­tion and land-based trans­porta­tion ca­reer op­por­tu­ni­ties with ad­di­tional em­pha­sis on in­creas­ing di­ver­sity.

Plane Crazy Satur­day

Ac­tiv­i­ties like the monthly Plane Crazy Satur­day events at the Mo­jave Air & Space­port are aimed at pro­vid­ing ex­po­sure to op­por­tu­ni­ties in aerospace.

The Dec. 21 edi­tion of Plane Crazy will fea­ture an ad­dress by lo­cal pi­lot Dick Ru­tan who will un­veil his new book, “The Next Five Min­utes, Em­brac­ing the Im­pos­si­ble” which in­cludes the story of the his­tory-mak­ing non­stop, un-re­fu­eled flight that he and co-pi­lot Jeana Yea­ger made around the world in De­cem­ber 1986, in an air­craft de­signed by Dick’s brother Burt and con­structed by the Dick and vol­un­teers at the Mo­jave Air & Space­port.

Plane Crazy Satur­days are free fam­ily events open to ev­ery­one, and of­fer young peo­ple an op­por­tu­nity to learn first hand about the in­dus­try from lo­cal men and women who ded­i­cate their lives to ex­pand­ing our knowl­edge of flight and ex­plor­ing space.

Con­struc­tion ca­reers

A re­cent piece in the Los Angeles Times re­ported that women are also gain­ing ground in the con­struc­tion in­dus­try, fill­ing short­ages sim­i­lar to those in aerospace.

The story pro­filed sev­eral women who are help­ing build build­ings, bridges and other struc­tures.

The grand­mother of one of the women pro­filed in the Times was a “Rosie the Riveter” dur­ing World War II.

Now her grand­daugh­ter is the first woman to head a lo­cal con­struc­tion union in a ma­jor metropoli­tan city.

Af­ter 30 years in the in­dus­try she men­tors women “who have fol­lowed in her foot­steps,” ac­cord­ing to the Times ar­ti­cle.

She en­cour­ages her pro­teges to “own your skills” and “out­shine ev­ery­body.”

Like other women pi­o­neer­ing in what has been a man’s field, one of the women cau­tions women en­ter­ing con­struc­tion to be able to han­dle the of­ten ju­ve­nile attitudes of some of her fel­low work­ers.

But the Times ar­ti­cle notes that suc­cess is lu­cra­tive in a field in which women earn the same as their male coun­ter­parts.

Cliff Clavin strikes again

Our mail per­son, a clone of the leg­endary Cliff Clavin of “Cheers” fame, out­did him­self last week.

Up un­til now he has placed our mail in a neigh­bor’s box with a sim­i­lar ad­dress num­ber (114 vs. 144)

Last week four pieces of mail ad­dressed to my neigh­bor’s home ap­peared in our box.

In­clud­ing a piece from the Postal “Ser­vice” ad­ver­tis­ing their plans for han­dling Christ­mas mail.

By the way, if these Clavin com­ments bother the postal folks, there’s a re­ally easy way to stop them.

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