They faced sobering data: Next year, 24 percent of hourly manufacturing employees in the industry and 18 percent of engineers will be eligible for retirement. Further, in the next 20 years, airlines will more than double the size of their fleets, adding 25,000 aircraft. To accommodate retirements and growth, the industry will have to add about 480,000 technicians and 350,000 pilots in the next decade.
The industry must find ways to inspire and train the next generation of students. That’s going to take some unusual and creative partnerships.