Congressman Adam Smith (D-WA), an original cosponsor of H.R. 758, the Aerospace Revitalization Act, is pleased that this important legislation passed unanimously out of the U.S. House of Representatives today. The bill coordinates federal and private-sector aerospace workforce development efforts through the establishment of an interagency taskforce. It implements a key recommendation from the 2002 bipartisan Commission on the Future of the United States Aerospace Industry report to the President to counter what it termed “the nation’s apathy toward developing a scientifically and technologically trained workforce.”

“The United States aerospace industry is a driver in the United States economic competitiveness, particularly in the Puget Sound region,” said Smith. “The catalyst for economic development is retention and new opportunities and, yet, almost 30 percent of the aerospace manufacturing workforce will become eligible for retirement in 2008.  The panel will address this shortage and take existing federal resources to identify new aerospace workforce training and recruitment opportunities through scholarships, grants and loan programs as well as alliances with the private sector and state governments.”

The legislation now moves to the Senate for consideration.