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AAS National Conference 2008: Julie Van Kleeck
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AAS National Conference 2008: Julie Van Kleeck



Session 3: Role of Education in American Competitiveness

Session 3: Role of Education in American Competitiveness

18 November 2008, Pasadena California




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AAS National Conference 2008: Julie Van Kleeck Presentation Transcript

  • 1. AAS Conference Panel – The Role of Education in American Competitiveness Industry Perspective Nov. 18, 2008 Presentation by Julie Van Kleeck Vice President, Space Programs Aerojet
  • 2. Agenda
    • Overview of Aerojet
    • Current Workforce Demographics – Aerojet and Aerospace & Defense Industry
    • Specific Challenges Facing Aerospace
    • Baseline, Pessimistic and Optimistic Cases
    • Steps to Foster the Optimistic Case
  • 3. Aerojet Provides Full Spectrum of Aerospace and Defense Products 65 Years of Engineering Excellence  3,100 Employees  $700M Sales Tactical Propulsion Airbreathing Systems Warheads & Energetics Missile Defense Systems Space Boosters & Strategic Propulsion Liquid Boosters & Upper Stages Post Boost Control Systems NASA Exploration Propulsion Military Spacelift In Space Propulsion Advanced Structures Specialty Metals Safety Systems
  • 4. We Are Rocket Scientists – First & Foremost!
  • 5. Aerospace and Defense Contractors Have An Aging Workforce
    • Of 13% eligible, only 2% retired (last two years)
    • 27% of Engineers eligible for retirement
    • There is a 14% Annual Attrition Rate in the 20-35 age group
    *Source: Aviation Week A&D article, 8/18-25, 2008 13% Now Retiree Eligible
  • 6. Aerojet Workforce Exhibits Similar Demographics to Aerospace & Defense Total: 874 Recent Focus on New Grads Is Paying Off *Approx. 30% of Workforce; Engineers & Scientists
  • 7. Challenges In Attracting and Keeping “New” Talent
    • Aerospace & Defense Has A Very Technical Workforce
    • Competitiveness Within Industry Requiring Corporate Leaders To Focus On Near Term At The Expense Of Long Term Viability – Focus Is On Experienced People
    • Transfer Of Heritage Knowledge To New Talent Is Costly And Takes Time – Rockets Require Significant Investment In Time And Human Capital – Less Experienced Workers Don’t Always Have The “Patience” Needed. (Other Industries Are More Attractive.)
    • Cyclical Nature Of Industry Which Poses Challenges At Attracting And Maintaining Young Professionals
  • 8. Assessment 5 + Years From Now
    • Baseline
    • Workforce continues to age with only modest improvement in younger demographics due to attrition
    • Loss of investment from 1950’s-1960’s due to inability to transfer knowledge (lack of retention of younger workforce)
    • India/China/Others threaten to take over World Space preeminence
    • National/World Security threatened
    • Pessimistic
    • Loss of U.S. investment from 1950’s-1960’s due to inability to transfer knowledge
    • India/China/Others take over Space preeminence
    • U.S. abandons human presence in Space
    • National/World Security threatened
    • Optimistic
    • Infusion of younger talent and shift of Aerospace & Defense demographics
    • Increase U.S. investments in Space with development of new technologies; opening of new Space Markets and Opportunities for next generation
    • Maintain National/World Security
  • 9. What the Aerospace Industry* Believe Should Be Done To Foster Optimistic Case
    • Partnering with existing programs such as Project Lead The Way, FIRST Robotics and Team America Rocketry Challenge
    • Encouraging, supporting and motivating industry professionals to participate in mentoring and other volunteer opportunities in schools and community programs
    • Supporting the transition of retirees to K-12 science and mathematics teaching certification and enrichment programs in paid or volunteer positions
    • Earmarking corporate grants to educational programs
    *Source: AIA Report: Industry’s Response to the Workforce Challenge
  • 10. What Aerojet is Doing to Foster the Optimistic Case
    • GenCorp Foundation/Aerojet Outreach supports local and national STEM education programs
    • GenCorp Foundation gives approx. $250,000/year to STEM education programs
      • Project Lead the Way
      • Virginia Aerospace Science and Technology Scholars (VASTS)
      • Challenger Learning Centers
      • STARBASE Academy
      • Support of Local Science Fairs
      • Engineering Programs at Local Universities
    • Sponsor of Team America Rocket Challenge
    • Educational Gift Matching Program which matches employees’ financial gifts to K-12 schools and universities, dollar for dollar, and
    • Dollars for Doers Program matches employees’ time in the classroom with funds for that school .
    • Robust Technical Intern Program
    • Partnerships with universities in specific areas of Rocket Propulsion Research
  • 11. What More Can Be Done to Foster the Optimistic Case
    • Focus On Developing More Science/Math Teachers To Be Deployed In Elementary/Junior High
    • Prizes For Innovation/Scientific Achievement At All Grade Levels Prior To College
    • Increased Science/Math/Technology Scholarships
    • Better Outreach To Showcase U.S. Technology To Younger Generation