As the Chair of the Aerospace States Association (ASA) and Lieutenant Governor of Alaska, I welcome you to the ASA website. We at ASA care passionately about the future of aerospace and aviation in America.
The U.S. aerospace industry is the engine that defends our nation, drives our economy, and provides Americans with highly paid jobs. The aerospace industry is a leader in innovation and a major economic driver. The demand for U.S. aerospace products is the strongest of our economy, with almost $81 billion in exports and a positive trade balance of nearly $49 billion. It has also shown a great resilience with an impressive growth of nearly 20%, even in the heart of the recent recession (2005 – 2009). In aerospace parts manufacturing, over 501 thousand Americans are employed in jobs that pay 50% higher than other manufacturing jobs, at a mean annual wage greater than $64,000.00 and mean hourly wage of nearly $31.00.
Aerospace is also a growing industry. The Boeing Aircraft Company expects global sales of new commercial aircraft to be $3.2 trillion over the next 20 years. Boeing also sees a need for an additional 137,000 new aircraft technicians and 97,350 new pilots. Our states will be significant contributors to building on this coming growth.
In my home state of Alaska, we depend on aviation. In fact, 82% of Alaska’s communities are not connected to a road system. Aviation is a way of life in Alaska, whether it’s how we get our food, how we visit our families, or what we do for a living.
ASA is a nonpartisan organization of Lt. Governors and other top-ranking state leaders from every state. ASA represents states’ interests in federal aerospace and aviation policy development. ASA advocates on behalf of all 50 states for research and design funding, workforce training, economic development in aerospace and aviation, excellence in science, technology, engineering and math education in every state, and keeping states competitive in a global marketplace. As leaders in our state governments, ASA members not only impact policy at the state level, but also at the federal level, by informing our congressional delegations on aerospace priorities.
ASA conducts hearings before our Lt. Governor members on key aerospace issues. We receive testimony from members of Congress, the Federal Government, industry, and academia. ASA then develops resolutions on behalf of the states and presents them to the President and appropriate Congressional Committees. The testimony and the resolutions are posted on this website after each hearing.
We are most excited about the formation of several action committees that are making a difference:
- ASA sponsors the Real World Design Challenge. It aligns secondary education with 21st-century workforce needs, and strengthens professional development for teachers by providing software, training, and support by mentors from national laboratories to teams of high school students competing to become state champions. The national final competition between state champion teams are held at the National Air & Space Museum and are judged by senior corporate executives and the President’s Science Advisor, Dr. John Holdren. This event also provides our members with the opportunity to see the final three teams compete and have photo opportunities with their state’s finalists.
- We have created a NEXTGEN committee to explore ways that states can become involved in the development and implementation of our nation’s next air traffic management system.
- We have formed a Manufacturing Committee that is working to help and represent small aerospace related companies in our states and interest our youth in pursuing aerospace manufacturing jobs.
- We have formed a State Aerospace Organization Committee that is bringing state based aerospace related organizations together with similar organizations in other states to share best practices and to identify issues common to the states from which ASA can take actions.
ASA is now hosting a forum on the Aviation Week & Space Technology website. This forum is providing the opportunity to learn about the aerospace activities in each state, interact with the policy makers in the states, and provides the opportunity for open and sweeping response on the aerospace issues and work of each state across the Country. You can link to it at http://www.aviationweek.com/awst.aspx. We look forward to hearing your comments and issues there.
We are committed to enacting state-based initiatives to strengthen our nation’s leadership in aviation, space and aerospace. We are committed to supporting the aerospace and aviation industries in all 50 states to strengthen the industries’ contributions to our economies. We are committed to inspiring a younger generation to innovate, explore and build. We are committed to educating young Americans to lead the world in science, technology, math and engineering. We are committed to linking the global community in peace and commerce via air travel. If you would like to join us in our efforts you can become an Associate Member of ASA by clicking the link on the right.
Alaska Lt. Governor Mead Treadwell, ASA Chairman