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International Women’s History Month

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Opinion: Industry Facing Daunting Changes to Win Future Workforce


Changes needed in the industry go far beyond just increasing numbers or the color of the faces on the line but calls for tectonic shift to how we do business and involves the most important issues facing society and business in history – social justice and diversity, equity and inclusion.

Few realize what it will take to change. In fact, it is nothing less than a total transformation of both company culture and, by extension, society. You may argue solving social issues is not our mandate, but many argue otherwise especially if your mandate is more success and profits.

By addressing social justice and enlarging the middle class, we will create a new economic boom more powerful than what was achieved after World War II and that’s just good business. 


Wikipedia defines a Just Culture as “a concept related to systems thinking which emphasizes that mistakes are generally a product of faulty organizational cultures, rather than solely brought about by the person or persons directly involved. In a just culture, after an incident, the question asked is, ‘What went wrong?’”

“It’s a really good business strategy and it’s growing today,” said Good Business Author Bill Novelli in the AARP Bulletin, one of many articles citing his work. “The idea is you can make money for your stockholders by creating social value for customers, employees and the communities where you work. It is not just altruism.”

A lot of hot air. Hereford High’s AOPA You Can Fly Program. Credit: AOPA

1st AOPA HS Curriculum Grads, Coordination Needed With Education Programs


With the first cohort of AOPA You Can Fly High School Aviation STEM Curriculum about to graduate in 2021, it is clear the program is making a difference in everything from school attendance to increasing the diversity of the industry.


“AOPA’s You Can Fly program is all about lowering barriers to entry,” Tennyson told Future Aviation/Aerospace Workforce News (FA/AW News). “It is not just about the students, it’s also about the teachers. We want to make sure they are confident in teaching the material.” 


The AOPA curriculum is in more than 200 schools with 255 teachers overseeing 540 classes in 38 states. Having reached 8,000 students to date, You Can Fly and other programs could not be more meaningful for priming the pipeline for the future aviation/aerospace workforce.


“We say the more the merrier,” said You Can Fly Executive Director Elizabeth Tennyson of all the emerging programs geared to aviation education. “I would love for us to be more coordinated, however. We already encourage people using our program to expand their horizons and explore other programs out there. But I think we need something more formal and, frankly, more effective, in place.


She sees this as the role for the National Center for the Advancement of Aviation (NCAA) proposed by senators Jim Inhofe (R-OK) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL).