Increase projected for jobs in the aviation industry
Kesha Williams April 03, 2009
Look into the future and see a realm of new jobs in the aviation industry. That was
the message the North Carolina Aerospace Alliance shared during a recent meeting at
Elizabeth City State University.
The North Carolina Aerospace Alliance includes 1,800 members of companies producing
services and goods related to the aviation industry. The alliance serves as source
of information for its members and other interested parties such as ECSU aviation
Joe Gragg of the North Carolina Aerospace Alliance said North Carolina is home to
many small and medium sized companies prepared to capture those new jobs. Of particular
interest, jobs the Department of Defense will complete by contracting private companies
to do the work.
"Through the Department of Defense, there are millions of dollars in contracted services
that North Carolina companies can secure if they just know the contracts exist. The
North Carolina Aerospace Alliance exists to help its members identify those contracts
and complete the proper paperwork to secure the contracts," Gragg said.
"The more information the alliance shares, the more North Carolina's aviation businesses
can grow. As those businesses grow, the number of jobs-- skilled and unskilled labor--
will increase in North Carolina. Aviation Science students at ECSU should also be
aware of those job projections. It's a good time to prepare for careers in the aviation
According to Gragg, some companies in North Carolina are poised to work independently
to meet the DOD's demand for particular services and goods. North Carolina companies
partner with other companies to offer the services those federal government contracts
"The federal government owns many, many expensive aircraft that will require maintenance
over the years. That means there will be a demand for mechanical parts, and related
services in the aviation industry," Gragg said. "ECSU officials and their aviation
science students leave this meeting better informed of the new developments in aviation
best of all, the aviation science jobs slated for North Carolina."
Dr. J. Anthony Sharp, director of ECSU's Aviation Science program, was happy the North
Carolina Aerospace Alliance held their meeting at the university. It exposed students
to alliance members.
"It was a wonderful opportunity to expose more aviation and aerospace business entities
in the state to the aviation education capabilities of ECSU. As the only four-year
aviation education program in the state of North Carolina, we want businesses to know
that ECSU can be expected to provide ready and well-educated aviation employees for
their businesses," Sharp said. "In addition, many of these businesses will be opportunities
for students to complete their required internships." Sharp feels, too, that the meeting
was a great opportunity for students to meet and interact with alliance members.
Tate Johnson, director of the Eastern Office-Office of the Governor, said it was exciting
to see so many representatives from various sectors of the community and the university
"For the past several months, the news has focused on budget short falls, job losses
and negative market returns. We must not lose focus of the mechanisms that will help
bring us out of this difficult period," Johnson said.