Sending Office: Honorable Stephen Knight
Representatives Steve Knight and Elizabeth H. Esty invite you to become original cosponsors of the Women in Aerospace Education Act, a bill to address challenges to our education and aerospace workforce pipeline by better engagement
of women early in their education. We will introduce the bill Monday, November 6.
Much of the leadership and many of the most experienced workers in the aerospace industrial base are preparing for retirement, and the looming talent shortfall that underpins our national security must be addressed with the same
urgency as any other threat to our national security. Labor shortages will disrupt production, innovation, and competitiveness.
According to a 2015 Aviation Week Workforce Study, a full 28% of the workforce is 56 or older, and nearly a fifth of our aerospace engineers are now of retirement age. At the same time, too few young Americans are entering the aerospace
workforce, in part because not enough are coming out of school with STEM degrees. Only 1.5% of American 25-34-year-olds has a science degree.
Inextricable from these trends is a substantial gender gap that pervades our education and workforce pipeline. Women represent only about one-quarter of all STEM workers and represent only 15% of all aerospace engineers.
Individuals’ attitudes about future career paths take shape early in their lives. Research shows that girls who have women science teachers are more likely to get interested in science and finish their education and training in
those areas once begun. That’s why our bill, the Women in Aerospace Education Act, makes changes to one of the leading federal scholarship programs for credentializing STEM teachers to place more female teachers who have working experience in the nation’s
leading aerospace projects in K-12 classrooms. The bill directs the National Science Foundation to encourage universities applying for Robert Noyce Teacher Scholar Program to integrate working experience at NASA Centers at National Laboratories as part of
its scholars’ teacher training programs. Further, it allows the NSF to leverage these opportunities to bridge the aerospace workforce gender gap. The bill also directs NASA to focus its promotion of and recruitment for NASA internships and programs to women,
who today are less likely to consider aerospace engineering and related fields.
We have to bring all of our best and brightest into the talent pool. This means reforming our education and training systems to ultimately improve the recruitment and engagement of women.
If you would like to cosponsor or have any questions, please contact Adam Brooks in the office of Rep. Steve Knight (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Jessica Brown in the office of Rep.
Elizabeth Esty (Jessica.Brown@mail.house.gov). Please reach out before mid-day on November 6th to be an original cosponsor.
Steve Knight Elizabeth H. Esty
Member of Congress Member of Congress
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