Talent. It’s the most pressing challenge facing Michigan businesses today and the aerospace industry is no exception. Talent attraction, development and retention is critical for our members. That’s why AIAM is making it a priority to identify member needs and find solutions that will help bridge the talent gap in the aerospace industry.

In partnership with our member, AgileChange, and facilitated by Marcelino Sanchez, AIAM conducted an aerospace industry talent survey. Split into the two categories below, the goal of the survey was to identify and establish a baseline about talent needs and opportunities moving forward.

Based on the results, the companies surveyed indicated the following key insights into our industry’s current and future talent workforce:

1. Engineering, Manufacturing Ops, Mechanical, Technical and General labor roles are the most difficult roles to fill today and are in the highest demand

2. Demand for these roles is expected to increase over the next 3-5 years, creating even more shortages

The professional talent coming out of the universities is hard to attract to come to the state or stay in the state

Vocational Training programs are producing non-professional talent but not fast enough or in the right quantities 

3. Current incoming professional talent is experienced but non-professional talent often lacks the experience and mindset that is required. Companies’ efforts to develop talent internally (through training, mentoring, etc.) or through government programs is likely not enough to keep up with demand. Collaboration is key

4. Emerging technologies: Additive Manufacturing, Robotics, Intelligent Machines, and Advanced Materials

What we garnered from this feedback are the opportunities: 1) We need greater collaboration among employers and between industry and education, 2) there needs to be increased awareness of job opportunities and employer needs, and 3) we must engage legislative partners through policy development and alignment to advance the talent needs of the aerospace industry.  

AIAM will continue soliciting your feedback and combine them with these survey results to leverage talent attraction and retention opportunities moving into 2020. Our ultimate goal is to discourage taking talent from other companies and work to identify untapped resources in the talent pipeline.