Press Release - Aviation Learning Center Expanded at Reno Air Races

NEWS RELEASE
Pathways to Aviation announces Aviation Learning Center expansion during Reno National Championship Air Races to accommodate over 5000 elementary, middle, high school and college students for 5 days of hand on learning, exhibits, classes and presentations.

Pathways to Aviation formerly known as the Reno Air Racing Foundation is committed to education collaboration with grades K-12 and colleges all assisting students and teachers in a pathway to workforce development in the aviation industry in Nevada. This year they are expanding the Aviation Learning Center from 4800 square feet to over 104,000 square feet, over 2 acres, for students to attend during the Air Races with an Aircraft and Rocketry tent, Space Exploration classroom tent, Unmanned Aerial Vehicle tent and a Career and Industry tent with aviation industry businesses, colleges and representatives of all forms of the aviation industry. Pathways to Aviation is also teaming up with the University of Nevada to host an expanded Drone Zone. Over 3000 students have been registered for field trips to visit the Aviation Learning Center and it is projected that nearly 5000 students will be participating in classes and hands on learning experiences available in the Aviation Learning Center. Over 10 high schools are expected to participate in High School day programs at Reno/Stead Airport during the Reno Air Races.

Contact: Steve Schroeder, Dir Communications, 775-846-9581
www.pathwaystoaviation.org

For Immediate Release
Wednesday, August 24, 2016

LINK to WEBSITE Aviation Learning Center info
<http://www.pathwaystoaviation.org/learning_center_expansion_2016>
LINK to Aviation Learning Center project presentation (PDF)
<http://bit.ly/2bk1JMs>
LINK to Guidebook with daily schedule– <http://www.pathwaystoaviation.org/guidebook>

Pathways to Aviation formerly known as the Reno Air Racing Foundation is charting a new course for the future of the aviation and aerospace industry in Nevada. The organization is working with local and statewide education leaders to empower a new generation of aviation industry workforce, experts and leaders by filling aviation industry jobs with quality Nevada labor.

There are several challenges and opportunities facing the aviation industry and in the state of Nevada. The industry needs a skilled labor force, especially well-trained and certified personnel. There is a soon-to-be severe workforce shortage of pilots and mechanics. Expected growth in tourism and corporate travel will force a need for more employees and higher quality of personnel throughout the aviation industry. Nevada as a flight test state for drones is driving the industry to new levels, regulations, certifications, and leadership. The average age of aircraft owners continues to rise and a need for the younger generation to become involved.

“The aviation industry is looking for a professional workforce in our state and we intend to chart a course for kids in grades 5 through college and develop a workforce to meet the demands of the aviation industry in Nevada,” said Eric Henry, President, Board of Directors, Pathways to Aviation.

Key features to the Aviation Learning Center are classes and presentations, aviation expert presentations, career discussions, drone flying, drone building, rocketry and industry workshops. The Learning Center will also feature aviation businesses and universities displays and information, host college and career discussions and workshops, offer hands on experiences and educational exhibits for all students.

Visit the schedule on Guidebook <www.pathwaystoaviation.org/guidebook> for a complete online schedule for all days in the Aviation Learning Center. No need to download an app, this is a mobile optimized web site for your convenience.

“Our partnership with the Washoe County School District proved to be a smashing success by hosting field trips at last year’s Reno Air Races,” said Pete Parker, Executive Director, Pathways to Aviation. “Together, we’re now collaboratively addressing workforce development. As a result, the Aviation Learning Center has expanded to over 104,000 square feet of educational and hands-on learning experiences.”

The Aviation Learning Center opens Wednesday, September 14, 8 AM as Workforce Wednesday, starting with presentations to economic development officials, Chamber of Commerce, business representatives, state and local education leaders, Rotaries and other community business leaders by showcasing the size and scope of the aviation industry in both Nevada and the nation.  Middle and high school students will begin arriving at 9 AM and spend the day learning. Thursday, September 15 celebrates Unmanned Aircraft Day, beginning with a forum of the state’s UAS leaders with exhibits, hands on learning, building and drone racing. Friday, September 16 is Next Generation Day with even more school children arriving at the Aviation Learning Center to hear presentations from aviation industry experts, build rockets and experience space exploration. Saturday, September 17 is PSA Airlines Career Day for airlines and business aviation along with industry exhibits. Classes and presentations will be offered from experts and industry exhibits. Sunday, September 18 is Heritage Aviation Day, highlighted by a Civil Air Patrol 75th Anniversary Celebration. Students and Air Race attendees can hear about the history of aviation.

“The Reno Air Races provides an opportunity for us to showcase outstanding relationships with organizations like the Reno Air Racing Association, Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority, Washoe County School District, Nevada Business Aviation Association, University of Nevada, Embry Riddle University, national and international airlines and manufacturers such as Boeing and many others to address the aviation industry’s growth and workforce opportunities,” says Parker.

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Pathways to Aviation Strategic Objectives-Key Points
The following set of pathways will inform, inspire, and engage the entire aviation industry to meet its challenging needs and opportunities.

According to the FAA, Nevada is home to 30 public-use airports which support over 70,000 jobs and over $80 million in payroll with over 3000 active general aviation aircraft and 6000 pilots. There are 5 commercial airports with over $8,000,000,000 payroll and a total economic impact of over $27,000,000,000.  Civil aviation contributes to 12.1% of the states GDP and 14.1% of all jobs in the state. The aviation industry is made up of airline operations, airport operations, component and aircraft engine and parts manufacturing, maintenance and parts suppliers.
* Airports Council International -North America Economic Impact of Commercial Airports in 2013
* FAA US Dept Transportation-The Economic Impact of Civil Aviation by State January 2015

Pathway 1 –Inform
Knowledge is power, whether it’s used to understand basic math, science, and technology principles, or to pursue careers in the aviation industry, or to better understand the industry’s needs, activities, and future. To provide speakers, class instructors, classroom materials, teacher professional development, and curriculum on the elementary, middle, and high school levels. Connect students to post-secondary education, either to four-year universities, community colleges, or specialty training opportunities. Support them through tuition-assistance scholarships and collect and share information relating to industry statistics, trends, news, events, and careers.

Pathway 2 –Inspire
For many people in aviation, the original spark may not have originated in the classroom. By working with industry leaders, affiliate organizations and partners, we can help ignite the inspiration in the industry’s future experts. Provide support through leadership, guidance, connections, and funding and work with the aviation industry’s associations and government entities to meet challenges, pursue opportunities, share information, and increase awareness and involvement.

Pathway 3 –Engage
Serve as the aviation industry’s source for decision-makers, experts, stakeholders and enthusiasts by organizing events to showcase the aviation industry (e.g. annual Speakers’ Forum, Aviation Learning Center at the Reno Air Races) and conduct industry conferences, conventions, trade shows and workshops. Design a complete careers portal to include career planning coaching, job board, careers videos, networking opportunities, and mentoring.
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About Pathways to Aviation
www.pathwaystoaviation.org
Pathways to Aviation provides solutions to the aviation industry’s growing workforce needs by informing, inspiring, and engaging its future labor force. Founded in 2004 as the Reno Air Racing Foundation, Pathways to Aviation is a Reno-based, 501c3 non-profit organization which serves as the engine to leverage educational programs, historical preservation, and industry partnerships to facilitate educational success, labor force growth, and economic vitality of the aviation industry throughout the state of Nevada.

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