CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WVDN) — This week, U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) introduced the Aviation Workforce Development and Recruitment Act. This bipartisan legislation – led by U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) – would address aviation workforce shortages by boosting resources to help recruit and train pilots, aviation manufacturing workers, and mechanics.
In addition to Senators Capito, Klobuchar, and Moran, the Aviation Workforce Development and Recruitment Act is co-sponsored by U.S. Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), John Thune (R-S.D.), Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), and Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.).
“We are facing a workforce shortage in the aviation industry, which is why our bipartisan legislation is needed in order to help make these vital jobs more accessible. West Virginia is a proven leader in aviation workforce development, and expanding this program will help our state continue that proud tradition,” Senator Capito said.
The Aviation Workforce Development and Recruitment Act would provide grants for eligible projects to support the education and recruitment of pilots, aviation maintenance workers, as well as the aviation manufacturing workforce of the future.
Specifically, this bill would:
· Expand the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)’s current Aviation Workforce Development Grant program by increasing annual funding for pilot and mechanic training grants;
· Create a new grant to fund aviation manufacturing workforce development;
· Raise the maximum grant award for each program to $1 million;
· Direct the FAA to establish a national strategic plan for addressing projected shortages of aviation workers in the aviation industry; and
· Expand grant eligibility to projects that support the education and recruitment of aviation manufacturing technical workers and aviation manufacturing workforce development.
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