Most people think of planes solely as a means of transportation, but here in West Virginia the aerospace industry also provides thousands of well paying jobs. According to the West Virginia Aerospace Alliance, there are thousands of aerospace jobs in the Mountain State.
Governor Jim Justice said many West Virginians aren’t aware of these jobs or don’t have the proper training.
“We need to get in the boat with them as a government in many different ways and try to assist and help,” said Justice.
The governor held a round table with the Aerospace Alliance on Monday, March 20, 2017 to discuss industry needs.
“People on the outside don’t have a clue really how great West Virginia can be in so many different ways. And it’s my job to change the perception, to get the word out, to market our state,” Justice said.
The meeting included representatives from aerospace industry leaders in West Virginia. Stephen McCoy, Bombardier Aircraft Services General Manager, said the industry is in need of young workers as many are at retirement age.
“I did mention that we’re now starting to see second generations coming in, which is very exciting and very encouraging, but we need to see more of that,” McCoy said. “I’m more concerned with the broader aspect of how they’re going to deal with the future workforce.”
Justice said despite the budget crisis, it’s imperative to find ways to help fund educational programs focusing on aerospace careers, which aren’t necessarily found through traditional four-year universities.
“Again, we’ve got to reward those that are bringing opportunity to us,” Justice said.
If you’re interested in learning more about West Virginia’s aerospace educational opportunities contact Thomas Stose, Director-Senior Professor at Pierpont Community and Technical College: email@example.com, 304-367-4800.