The House Appropriations Committee has voted to fund two programs to develop high school STEM training that would also support aviation technician training, a jobs segment that’s suffering chronic shortages according to the FAA and major aerospace manufacturers. Both programs have been widely supported by the aerospace industry.
According to AOPA, the panel recommended $5 million in fiscal 2020 for each of two programs. One is aimed at developing curriculum and teacher development for STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) courses in support of commercial, drone and military pilots. The second would encourage scholarships and apprenticeships in the technical workforce field.
AOPA supported the funding to achieve its goal of bringing more STEM training to the high school classroom. “We are very appreciative of several members of the House Appropriations Committee who were instrumental in supporting funding for these programs which will have an enormous impact on influencing the next generation of pilots,” said Jim Coon, AOPA’s senior vice-president of government affairs.” Specifically, U.S. Reps. Dan Lipinski and Sam Graves led House efforts while Sens. Jim Inhofe and Maria Cantwell rounded up support in the Senate.