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Building the 21st Century National Aerospace Workforce


Right Skills, Right Place, Right Time Building the 21st Century National Aerospace Workforce ASME International, Congressional Briefing May 5, 2003 – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Building the 21st Century National Aerospace Workforce

Building the 21st Century National Aerospace
Right Skills, Right Place, Right Time
  • ASME International,
  • Congressional Briefing
  • May 5, 2003
  • Presentation by
  • Joel Cutcher-Gershenfeld, MIT

For more information on aerospace workforce
research at MIT, see the publications presented
by MITs Labor Aerospace Research Agenda
http// and MITs Lean
Aerospace Initiative http//
For more information on the IAM and High
Performance Work Organizations, see
http// under visit IAM
Mission and Vision
  • Overall Mission for the Aerospace Industry
  • Enable the global movement of people and goods
  • Enable the global acquisition and dissemination
    of information and data
  • Advance national security interests and
  • Provide a source of inspiration by pushing the
    boundaries of exploration and innovation
  • Source Lean Enterprise Value Insights from
    MITs Lean Aerospace Initiative
    (Palgrave/MacMillan, 2002)
  • 21st Century Workforce Vision
  • Attract and retain a 21st Century aerospace
    workforce with the skills, capabilities and
    commitment to enable transformation and success
    in the aerospace industry

Strategic Challenges in Aerospace
  • Knowledge and Capability
  • Demographic cliff
  • Underutilization of women and minorities
  • Gaps in pipelines skilled apprenticeships and
    aerospace engineering programs
  • Outsourcing knowledge and skills
  • New technologies and changing skill mix
  • Competitive Challenges
  • Global competition and organizational instability
  • Institutional barriers, monuments and gaps in the
    social infrastructure
  • Plummeting research and development spending
  • Reduced attractiveness of careers in aerospace

A New Mindset is Required
  • Investing in R D as a pull for the 21st
    Century workforce is not a new idea, but it gets
    to the root cause. . . How do we look at R D
    from the point of view of building future
    capability investing in human capital not
    just completing a given project or program? This
    means that the definition of R D priorities
    must be made with multiple stakeholders input to
    anticipate future needs taking more of a
    long-term, strategic approach to such
  • Dr. Sheila Widnall, former Secretary of the U.S.
    Air Force and MIT Institute Professor (in forward
    to Developing a 21st Century Aerospace Workforce,
    Policy White Paper submitted to the Commission
    on the Future of the United States Aerospace
    Industry, 2002)

Institutional Opportunities
  • Aerospace Inter-Agency Task Force
  • Spanning the Department of Defense, NASA, FAA,
    Departments of Labor, Education, Commerce and
    Homeland Security to coordinate government
    aerospace workforce initiatives
  • Aerospace Capability Network
  • Public/private partnerships spanning all key
    stakeholders business, labor, government,
    universities and community groups
  • Industry Promotion and Development
  • National campaign on aerospace opportunities
    primary schools, secondary schools, community
    colleges and universities

Aerospace Workforce Knowledge, Skills and
Abilities A Conceptual Map

Government Policies and Initiatives (within and
across agencies) on Aerospace Workforce
National, Regional Local Aerospace Workforce
Initiatives (Industry / Labor / Government)
Workplace-Specific Initiatives (public and
private facilities)
Curriculum Innovation University / Industry
Skill Standards and Certification
Apprenticeships and OJT Initiatives
Industry/Workforce Skills Assessment
Knowledge Maintenance
Life-Long Learning Initiatives
Industry/Workforce Needs Assessment
Knowledge Utilization
Knowledge Acquisition
Knowledge Enhancement
Industry/Workforce Retention Initiatives
School-to-Work Initiatives
Displace Worker Initiatives
Aerospace Programs in the K-12 Schools
Knowledge-Driven Work Systems (Lean, Six
Sigma, etc.)
Knowledge Management
Skill and Knowledge Initiatives Across Individual
Careers/Lifecycles K-12 . . . College
University . . . Early Career . . . Mid-Career .
. . Retirement/Post-Retirement
Skill and Knowledge Initiatives Across Multiple
Enterprise Value Streams Basic Science . . .
Conception. . . Design/Development . . .
Production . . . Sales/Sustainment
Source MITs Labor Aerospace Research Agenda
Application to House (H.586 and Senate (S.309)
Aviation Revitalization Bills
  • Focus of Funding
  • Environmental Aircraft RD Initiative
  • Rotorcraft Aircraft RD Initiative
  • Civil Supersonic Transport RD Initiative
  • University-Based Centers for Research on Aviation
  • Aviation Weather Research
  • Air Traffic Management RD Initiative
  • High Leverage Applications
  • Knowledge the Demand for labor
  • Assessment of current and future RD skill /
    knowledge requirements in each sector
  • Knowledge the Supply of labor
  • Assessment and action around demographics
    (current distribution, prospective restructuring
    / retirements, and anticipated flow of new
  • Knowledge Across Value Streams
  • Projecting skill / knowledge implications of RD
    investment forward across value streams
  • . . . All broadening the focus beyond training to
    knowledge-driven, lean work systems

Ensuring a Pivotal Impact of RD Investment in
  • Attract next generation aerospace workforce the
    best and brightest
  • Maintain knowledge and capability in the context
    of the demographic cliff and other challenges
  • Optimize the current mix of knowledge, skills and
  • Identify future skill requirements
  • Dual bottom line
  • A strong return on RD investment
  • Reinvigorate the aerospace vision A renewed
    sense of wonder and excitement!

Right Skills, Right Place, Right Time
  • Careers in aerospace defense aerospace
    platforms by decade
  • Individual survey data next generation in
  • Aerospace employment and sales data
  • U.S. engines and parts imports as a share of
    total aircraft sales, 1981-2000
  • Instability and program cost/schedule performance
  • National aerospace facility survey
  • Apprenticeship data
  • Global footprint data

Careers in aerospace lifetime defense aerospace
platforms by entry decade
Individual Survey Data Next Generation in
I would highly recommend that my children work
in this industry (Agree or Strongly Agree, n482)
Chart 1 US and EU Aerospace Employment since
Chart 2 Major Non-U.S. Aerospace Employer
Countries since 1980 ( gt 30,000 employees with
time series data available)
Chart 3 Sales and Employment for U.S. Aerospace
Industry (SIC 372 and 376) since 1980
Chart 4 Sales and Employment SIC 372 - Aircraft
and Part since 1980
Chart 5 Sales and Employment SIC 376 - Guided
Missiles, Space Vehicles, and Parts since 1980
Chart 6 Sales and Employment for EU Aerospace
Industry since 1980
Chart 7 Sales and Employment for Canadian
Aerospace Industry since 1984
Chart 8 Sales and Employment for Brazilian
Aerospace Industry since 1995
Chart 9 Sales and Employment for Japanese
Aerospace Industry since 1988
U.S. engines and parts imports as a share of
total aircraft sales, 1981-2000
Instability and program cost/schedule performance
Source of Program Cost Growth Government Sample Average Annual Cost Growth (N101) Contractor Sample Average Annual Cost Growth (N80)
Budget or Funding Instability 2.3 1.8
Technical Difficulties 2.4 2.7
Requirements Changes 2.5 2.7
Other 0.1 0.8
Total 7.3 8.0
Table 1. Average Annual Program Cost Growth and
Its Sources
Source of Program Schedule Slip Government Sample Average Schedule Slip (N 76) Contractor Sample Average Schedule Slip (N 66)
Budget or Funding Instability 8.2 7.8
Technical Difficulties 6.3 5.8
Requirements Changes 5.0 3.4
Other 4.2 4.0
Total 23.7 21.0
Mean Baseline (months) 85 70
Table 2. Sources of Program Schedule Slip
Source Eric Rebentisch, MIT Lean Aerospace
Initiative, 1996
National Facility Survey Overview and Process
  • Cross-sectional data longitudinal results in
    some cases
  • Single respondents from facilities
  • Post 9/11 current data but a major discontinuity
  • Analysis just beginning
  • Causality not always clear
  • Overview
  • A nationally representative sample of aerospace
    facilities to examine instability, new work
    systems, skills capability, intellectual
    capital, and related matters
  • Process
  • Sample drawn from national aerospace directory
  • Mailed survey to approximately 2500 facilities
  • Special panel established for respondents to 1999
    National Facility Survey drawn from same source
  • Second mailing and follow-up telephone calls
  • Data presented based on 362 responses
  • Note Over 200 returned as not in the aerospace
    industry or returned to sender as bad addresses

Profile Data on Facilities and Respondents
  • Facility Profile
  • Average Number of Employees
  • 558 employees
  • Average Year Began Operations
  • 1976
  • Average Sales to Largest Customer
  • 30
  • Average Number of Major Government Programs
  • 5.4 Programs
  • Average Number of Major Commercial Programs
  • 8.9 Programs
  • Product Volume Primary Product
  • Low 60 Med 32 High 8
  • Unionization Among Respondents
  • 15
  • Industry Sector Distribution
  • Aircraft Frames/Structures 24
  • Aircraft Engines 13
  • Avionics 15
  • Spacecraft and Missiles 6
  • Other (mostly suppliers) 42
  • Respondent Profile
  • Average Years of Experience in Aerospace
  • 24 years
  • Average Age Range
  • 46-55 years
  • Average Education Level
  • Undergraduate Degree and some Graduate Education

Recent Changes in Employment 1999 and 2002
Survey Data
More than half of aerospace facilities report a
decrease in employment over the past three years
a deterioration from the employment picture in
Recent and Prospective Retirements 2002 Survey
The proportion of the workforce eligible to
retire in next three years is substantially
higher than the past three years with the
greatest impact on large employers.
US DoL and Other Apprenticeship Programs 2002
The vast majority (85) of aerospace facilities
do not have apprenticeship programs and of those
that do, approximately 2/3 have had no graduates
over the past three years and have no one in the
Percent of US Respondents Reporting Suppliers in
Each Location
Russia, CIS 4
Europe 35
Canada, Mexico 23
Japan, China, Korea 22
US 95
South America 3
Other 3
Key Blue Under 25 Red 25-50 Green
Over 50
Percent of US Respondents Reporting Customers in
Each Location
Russia, CIS 5
Europe 75
Canada, Mexico 56
Japan, China, Korea 50
US 98
South America 29
Other 18
Key Blue Under 25 Red 25-50 Green
Over 50
Percent of US Respondents Reporting Joint
Ventures in Each Location
Russia, CIS 1
Europe 18
Canada, Mexico 7
Japan, China, Korea 11
US 40
South America 1
Other 3
Key Blue Under 25 Red 25-50 Green
Over 50
Percent of US Respondents Reporting Strategic
Partners in Each Location
Russia, CIS 6
Europe 22
Canada, Mexico 10
Japan, China, Korea 11
US 50
South America 1
Other 5
Key Blue Under 25 Red 25-50 Green
Over 50
Percent of US Respondents Reporting Current
Competitors in Each Location
Russia, CIS 6
Europe 66
Canada, Mexico 25
Japan, China, Korea 31
US 92
South America 5
Other 5
Key Blue Under 25 Red 25-50 Green
Over 50
Percent of US Respondents Projecting Future
Competitors in Each Location
Russia, CIS 20
Europe 58
Canada, Mexico 33
Japan, China, Korea 68
US 73
South America 13
Other 10
Key Blue Under 25 Red 25-50 Green
Over 50
Selected Written Comments on 2002 Surveys
  • September 11 has had a severe impact on our
    industry which has influenced this survey.
    Airlines have received government support,
    however none of these funds have provided GSE
    manufacturers stability or longevity.
  • Over the last two years we have been working very
    hard on upgrading Quality Systems (AS9000),
    implementing LEAN manufacturing, training, while
    at the same time diversifying the business and
    trying to penetrate new markets. Our products
    (cargo systems) are installed on older aircraft
    and those were affected heavily by the down turn
    in the economy as well as the events of sept. 11.
  • Can't get domestic labor - skilled or otherwise.
  • Since September 11, 2001, there has been a
    significant downturn in the volume of our
    business. I know for a fact that our facility and
    at least three of our most valued suppliers face
    an almost insurmountable challenge to stay afloat
    over the next 90 - 120 days if something doesn't
  • We withdrew from the aerospace markets in 1997
    and moved our manufacturing capabilities to the
    energy equipment markets.
  • OEM's are using DOD funding to develop new
    technologies, practices procedures and then
    turnaround and subcontract work overseas to the
    lowest bidder. They also utilize these advances
    on their commercial products which are primarily
    subcontracted to Asia Mexico under the guise of
    mandatory offsets.