Citing Tax Reform, Boeing Unveils $11 Million Investment in STEM Workforce Development

By September 24, 2018General, Shopfloor Main

Manufacturers in America are in the middle of a workforce crisis. There are more than half a million job openings in the manufacturing industry today—and there could be millions in the years ahead—as employers continue to struggle to find enough qualified workers with the right skill sets to fill them.

That’s why the National Association of Manufacturers’ (NAM) Manufacturing Institute (MI) is focused like a laser on solving this crisis. Through initiatives like Heroes MAKE America, Manufacturing Day and STEP Ahead, the MI is working tirelessly to shift perceptions about modern manufacturing and train and connect women and veterans with manufacturing opportunities.

Moreover, manufacturers across the country are addressing this crisis by taking the initiative in training and reskilling the next generation of manufacturing workers. The latest example comes from Boeing, which just announced a sizable $21 million investment together with the National Science Foundation to help develop a modern manufacturing workforce:

The National Science Foundation (NSF) and Boeing [NYSE: BA] today announced a new $21 million partnership to accelerate training in critical skill areas and increase diversity in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields…

Supported by $10 million in funding from Boeing, NSF will partner with world-class learning institutions to develop online training in critical skill areas for students and Boeing employees. These skill areas include model-based engineering and systems engineering, mechatronics, robotics, data science and sensor analytics, program management and artificial intelligence. The first project is expected to launch in 2019. 

To complement Boeing’s investment, NSF’s Directorate for Education and Human Resources will invest $10 million in awards focused on reskilling and increasing the skill level of the U.S. STEM workforce.

In addition, Boeing is making a $1 million donation to the NSF INCLUDES initiative, which focuses on increasing the number of women in STEM fields and works with women and veterans returning to the STEM workforce.

Boeing’s investment is part of the company’s pledge last year to invest $300 million in “employees, infrastructure and local communities” as a result of the passage of U.S. tax reform.

“This investment demonstrates Boeing’s commitment to developing the future workforce and our current employees’ skills,” said Heidi Capozzi, senior vice president of human resources at Boeing. “The initiatives will help develop more technical workers and provide research opportunities for women and veterans seeking to join or return to the STEM workforce.”

Training American workers with the skills they need to succeed in modern manufacturing is not only a critical priority for manufacturers, but it opens doors for men and women across the country to find financially and personally rewarding career opportunities. The Manufacturing Institute will continue to take a leadership role in addressing this crisis, as will the NAM and manufacturers across the country like Boeing.

Boeing’s news is the kind of investment that will empower American workers and help keep U.S. manufacturing strong, competitive and dynamic for the next decade and beyond.

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