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U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao Makes Appointments to Youth Access to American Jobs in Aviation Task Force

Friday, July 17, 2020

Washington, DC – U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao today announced the appointment of 20 representatives to the Youth Access to American Jobs in Aviation Task Force (YIATF). The objective of YIATF is to encourage high school students to pursue in-demand careers in aviation. Dr. Sharon DeVivo, President of Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology, will serve as chair of the task force. 

“This task force will help identify and develop pathways to encourage a diversity of young people to enter the exciting aviation sector of the future,” said U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao.
YIATF will develop and provide independent recommendations and strategies to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to:

•    Facilitate and encourage high school students in the United States to enroll in and complete career and technical education courses, including science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM);
•    Facilitate and encourage these students to enroll in a course of study related to an aviation career, including aviation manufacturing, engineering, and maintenance;
•    Identify and develop pathways for students to secure registered apprenticeships, workforce development programs, or careers in the aviation industry of the United States.

“We know that introducing students to the wonders of aerospace when they are in the early high school years can inspire them to pursue careers in the field,” said FAA Administrator Steve Dickson, a former military and airline pilot.

Task force members represent a diverse range of backgrounds and expertise in aviation and education, including those from air carriers; aircraft, powerplant, and avionics manufacturers; aircraft repair stations; local educational agencies or high schools; and institutions of higher education, including community colleges and aviation trade schools. A list of appointees and their biographies is available here.

“We are at a pivotal moment in history to reach out and develop the next generation of aviation and aerospace leadership,” said Dr. Sharon DeVivo. “By bringing together a diverse group of industry and education leaders, we have a unique opportunity to create a set of recommendations that ensures a long-term pipeline of qualified talent while also prioritizing a pathway for traditionally underrepresented groups.”

A Federal Register Notice to solicit nominations for candidates to serve on the task force was published on October 9, 2019, and closed October 30, 2019. 75 competitive applicant packages were submitted for consideration. Members will be appointed to the YIATF for the duration of its existence and will meet up to two times per year to carry out its duties.

This Administration has placed a strong emphasis on expanding access to STEM education. The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Women & Girls In Transportation Initiative (WITI) encourages young women to pursue STEM careers in transportation. The FAA is raising awareness of aviation and aerospace career opportunities through its STEM Aviation and Space Education (AVSED) Program. Through initiatives like these, the Department is helping to build a STEM-educated workforce for the future. 

More information on YIATF is available here.