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Aerospace industry could run out of engineers, officials warn

The Space Foundation is concerned there won't be enough new engineers to replace the baby boomers that will soon retire
Astronaut Victor Glover
Posted at 10:05 AM, Apr 26, 2023
and last updated 2023-04-26 12:05:55-04

COLORADO SPRINGS — The aerospace industry is booming, boasting rapid public and private growth that hasn't been seen since the 1950s. Yet officials are sounding the alarm that the future workforce may not meet the demand.

"While the workforce is growing right now, we're seeing some flashing yellow lights pretty seriously," said Senior Data Analyst for the Space Foundation Tom Roeder.

The Space Foundation reports that U.S. University enrollment in engineering programs is continuing a 5-year decline.

"So it's down by 100,000, give or take," said Roeder.

That leaves many wondering what the next step forward could be. For astronaut Victor Glover, it's inspiring the next

“A part of our job is inspiration," said Glover. The astronaut is set to be a part of Artemis II and the first Black astronaut to step foot on the moon. He says that those who came before him inspired his journey.

“Those all wove together to drive the decisions that led to my career path, my education. That’s the power of inspiration," said Glover.

UCCS is one of several schools around the nation trying to encourage more students to join engineering. Recently, it was announced that the university is constructing two additional engineering buildings. This takes the number of students in the program per year from 1700 to 3100.

“We polled together 53 companies in this community to ask them what they needed us to be doing, and they clearly said aerospace," said Thomas Dewar, Executive Director of Development for UCCS.

Space Workforce 2030 is a coalition of over 25 companies in the Aerospace industry that's trying to increase diversity in the workforce. Over the weekend, they hosted over 100 girl scouts to learn about space and speak with professionals in the industry.

The Space Foundation hosted high school students from all over the area to learn about the different companies working today.

“The idea for student tours is to really connect the future STEM workforce with the companies who need this workforce," said Nylah Rampersad, Education Program Manager with the Space Foundation.


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