Certification Project



Pathways to Aviation is expanding its new and popular Futures in Aerospace program, which provides career mentoring and readiness resources to high school and college students, who are considering careers in the aerospace industry. 



Pathways to Aviation, a 501c3 non-profit organization, provides the engine to leverage legacy programs, instruction, and partnerships to facilitate educational success, labor force growth, and economic vitality. It designs and implements solutions to the aviation industry's growing workforce needs by informing, inspiring, and engaging its future labor force.


Futures in Aerospace Vision

The Futures in Aerospace initiative connects students to industry, aviation executives, and college and career opportunities. Students obtain an understanding of their hard and soft skills, articulate those skills on their resumes, share the skills and passions through face-to-face interactions, and develop strong relationships with aviation leaders.

Pathways to Aviation addresses workforce shortages and enhances economic development, which significantly impacts the aviation industry. We are:

  • Empowering a new generation of aviation experts and leaders.
  • Awarding scholarships to students attending four-year, two-year, and specialty instruction.
  • Spearheading a vibrant aviation community, fostering informative outreach, mutually-benefit collaborations, and workforce connections and pursuits.
  • Fostering preferential hiring consideration of local and nearby talent.
  • Forging new territory in aviation, aerospace, and unmanned aerial systems.


2019 Futures in Aerospace Program

The career mentoring workshop series was a major success. Key stats include:

3 Host Airports
12 Career-mentoring Workshops
104 Participating Students
28 Engaging Speakers
211 Career Connection Matches
4 Offered Internships

Click here for a full review of this year's program.

Each student received a complimentary career-planning resource workbook (click here or the image to download)


Student Overview

Students represented 25 different schools:

  • Academy of Arts Careers and Technology
  • ACE High School
  • Bishop Manogue Catholic High School
  • Carson High School
  • Coral Academy
  • Damonte Ranch High School
  • Davidson Academy
  • Douglas High School
  • Folsom Lake College
  • Forest Charter School
  • Galena High School
  • Honors Academy of Literature
  • Lincoln High School
  • McQueen High School
  • North Tahoe High School
  • Reed High School
  • Sierra College
  • Spanish Springs High School
  • Tahoe Expedition Academy
  • Truckee High School
  • Truckee Meadows Community College
  • Truckee Meadows CC High School
  • University of Nevada, Las Vegas
  • University of Nevada, Reno
  • Wooster High School

Students were in the following class levels:

  • Recent College Graduates - 7
  • College Seniors - 2
  • College Juniors - 0
  • College Sophomores - 4
  • College Freshman - 3
  • High School Seniors - 25
  • High School Juniors - 21
  • High School Sophomores - 23
  • High School Freshmen - 16
  • Middle School - 3

Students entered the program with the following aerospace specialty interests:

  • Engineering - 59.3%
  • Pilot (Fixed Wing) - 53.1%
  • Mechanics - 40.6%
  • Technology - 35.9%
  • Unmanned Aerial Systems - 31.2%
  • Pilot (Helicopter) - 26.5%
  • Avionics - 23.4%
  • Accounting - 15.6%
  • Flight Attendant - 15.6%
  • Management - 15.6%
  • Inventory - 10.9%
  • Executive - 9.3%
  • Sales & Marketing - 9.3%
  • Finance - 7.8%
  • Administration - 6.2%
  • Interior Specialist - 4.6%
  • Dispatch - 3.1%
  • Technical Writing - 1.5%

At the onset of the workshop series, students indicated the following career-planning wishes:

  • Meeting Experts - 87.5%
  • Attending Workshops - 82.8%
  • Learning Networking Skills - 67.1%
  • Learning Interviewing Skills - 62.5%
  • Adding References - 60.9%
  • Receiving Mentorship - 59.3%
  • Learning Resume Skills - 46.8%


2019 Futures in Aerospace Testimonials

The following are from participating students:

  • "I really enjoyed how we were able to meet people that we otherwise would not have known how to contact. It was very helpful and offered many opportunities to us that we didn’t even know existed."
  • "I really just appreciated that there are   people willing to support and educate high school students going into a professional field. I really appreciate the fact that students have such a wonderful resource!"
  • "It taught me many skills such as formatting a resume, elevator pitch, and how to succeed in an interview."

The following are from industry leaders:

  • "Thank you for the opportunity to participate. I have a huge respect for what you're doing and this program."
  • "The event was very inspiring and well planned out. I think the future in aviation is great with the students who are part of your program."
  • "I am extremely impressed with how prepared a lot of those kids were. This is definitely making a difference in many ways. Great work."


2020 Vision

The 2020 version of the program will feature three prominent strategies to inform, inspire, and engage both students and the many aerospace companies and executives encountered along the path.


Compelling Statistics

  • The Air Transport Pilot license requires a minimum of 1,500 flight hours. Previously, an entry-level first officer could be employed with a commercial pilot license that required 250 hours.
  • North America will need slightly more than 10,000 new pilots each year on average to keep pace with air service demand and retirements.
  • Roughly 4.4% of US airline pilots are women.
  • Aircraft mechanic technicians must complete 18 months of practical work experience applicable to either an airframe or powerplant rating. Technicians pursuing both ratings need a combined total of 1,900 hours, which typically takes 18 to 24 months.
  • The average age of a FAA mechanic is 51 years old.
  • The Federal Aviation Administration expects the current workforce of 14,000 air traffic controllers will lose nearly 12,000 (or 86%) in the next 10 years. Because controllers must retire from active duty at age 56, roughly 34% of the attrition will result from retirements, the majority in the next five years.
  • Airbus expects a need for more than 1,900 new aircraft by 2034. Boeing's forecast is 2,600 during the same period.


Interesting Graphics

PwC Aerospace Manufacturing Attractiveness by State

Nevada Governor's Office of Economic Development - Aerospace & Defense Sector

- Regional Job Trends in Nevada (2018) -

Nevada Governor's Office of Economic Development - Aerospace & Defense Sector

- Aerospace Industry in Nevada Age Breakdown -

Aerospace Industry Association's Generational Employment by Industry

Local Endorsements & Working Partnerships

  • State of Nevada Department of Education
  • Nevada Association of Career & Technical Education
  • Governor’s Office of Economic Development (Aerospace & Defense)
  • Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority
  • Truckee Tahoe Airport District
  • Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada
  • Nevada Department of Transportation
  • Washoe County School District
  • Truckee-Tahoe Unified School District
  • University of Nevada
  • Sierra College
  • Truckee Meadows Community College
  • Nevada Institute of Autonomous Systems
  • Governor’s Workforce Investment Board
  • Nevada’s airports, and
  • Nevada-based aviation corporations


National Support

The following are aerospace industry associations pledging their commitment to addressing the industry's workforce needs.

  • Aeronautical Repair Station Association
  • Aerospace Industries Association
  • Aerospace Maintenance Council
  • Aircraft Electronics Association
  • Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association
  • Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association
  • Airlines for America Air Medical Operators
  • Association Airports Council International – North America
  • Allied Pilots Association
  • American Association of Airport Executives
  • Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems 
  • International Association for Women in Aviation
  • Aviation Suppliers Association
  • Aviation Technician Education Council
  • Cargo Airline Association
  • Coalition of Airline Pilots Associations
  • Experimental Aircraft Association
  • Flight School Association of North America
  • General Aviation Manufacturers Association
  • Helicopter Association International
  • International Air Transport Association
  • International Brotherhood of Teamsters
  • International Council of Air Shows
  • Modification and Replacement Parts Association
  • National Agricultural Aviation Association
  • National Air Carrier Association
  • National Air Transportation Association
  • National Association of State Aviation Officials
  • National Business Aviation Association
  • National League of Cities
  • NetJets Association of Shared Aircraft Pilots
  • Professional Aviation Maintenance Association
  • Recreational Aviation Foundation
  • Regional Air Cargo Carriers Association
  • Regional Airline Association
  • Veterans Airlift Command


Certification Process


Visit our Futures in Aerospace webpage for more information, photos and stats from our 2019 Flight Plan, and what's in store.


Click here to review responses to questions on the Google Challenge - Nevada grant funding application.