As part of a new effort by President Donald Trump to improve the training and education of American workers amid rapid advances in the digital economy, aerospace and defense companies on Thursday committed themselves to new opportunities and investments to help their workforces.
Boeing [BA], which has already said it would invest $300 million in its employees as a result of tax reform legislation that went into effect on Jan. 1, including $100 million to workforce development, said it will provide enhanced career opportunities to more than 100,000 current and future U.S. employees over the next five years.
Marillyn Hewson, chairman, president and CEO of Lockheed Martin [LMT], said it plans to create 8,000 new apprenticeship opportunities for skilled workers and invest $5 million in vocational and trade programs.
“The U.S. aerospace and defense industry relies predominantly on an American workforce and is disproportionately impacted by the shortage of skilled manufacturing workers to fill critical jobs,” Hewson said in a statement. “The president has raised the issue to a level of national urgency and we are ready to do our part.”
The Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) said its members have pledged to support workforce opportunities for 202,000 employees over the next five years. It said Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman [NOC] and Raytheon [RTN] announced contributions that will impact 154,000 career opportunities.
In addition to the major defense companies, AIA said other aerospace and defense companies will support 48,000 enhanced job opportunities.
“The single most important thing the aerospace and defense industry can do to remain a global leader is double down on our efforts to build a diverse 21st century workforce that taps the best talent in communities across the country,” Eric Fanning, president and CEO of AIA, said in a statement.
Some of the other aerospace and defense companies that also committed to enhancing workforce opportunities include General Dynamics [GD], Britain’s BAE Systems, L3 Technologies [LLL], General Electric [GE], Huntington Ingalls Industries [HII], Cubic Corp. [CUB], Harris Corp. [HRS], Leidos [LDOS], Rockwell Collins [COL], Textron Inc. [TXT], United Technologies Corp. [UTX], and the Aerospace Corp., according to AIA.