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ARSA Workforce Legislation Action Center

The U.S. aviation industry is facing a technician shortage of crisis proportions. ARSA is working with industry and congressional allies to tackle the problem. This page provides resources help you make a difference and communicate with your elected representatives in support of our efforts.

What’s the Problem?

An analysis by Boeing suggests that 118,000 new technicians will be needed in North America over the next two decades.  The consulting firm Oliver Wyman has forecast that demand for aviation maintenance technicians will outstrip supply by 2022.  More than 80 percent of respondents to ARSA’s 2018 member survey reported difficulty finding qualified technicians and more than half of the responding companies have unfilled positions. 

If the technician shortage persists, it will undermine the efficiency of the U.S. aviation system and make it more difficult for U.S. companies to capitalize on opportunities in the growing global aerospace market.

What Would the Aviation Workforce Bill Do?

Legislation proposed by ARSA (S. 2506 and H.R. 5701) would create a grant pilot program, administered by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), to incentivize collaboration at the local level to find solutions to the aviation maintenance workforce skills gap.  To be eligible, a grant application would have to be submitted jointly by a business or union, school, and governmental entity. 

The program would be authorized at $5 million for five years starting in 2019 and provide grants of up to $500,000 to support a wide variety of workforce development activities, including apprenticeships, scholarships, helping military personnel transition to civilian careers, and outreach to underrepresented populations and in economically challenged areas.

Who Are Our Allies in This Effort?

The legislation was introduced in the Senate on March 7, 2018 by Senators Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) and Maria Cantwell (R-Wash.) and in the House on May 8, 2018 by Representatives Sam Graves (R-Mo.), Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.), Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.) and Brenda Lawrence (D-Mich.).  It has been endorsed by 20 leading aviation organizations representing all segments of the industry, including maintainers, airlines, general aviation, manufacturers, and labor, as well as by the National League of Cities. 

Who Should You Contact for More Information About This Issue?

If you have questions about the bill or contacting Congress, please contact ARSA Executive Vice President Christian Klein at christian.klein@arsa.org or 703.599.0164.

What Can You Do to Help?

ARSA is leading a coalition to build support for the bill in both chambers with the objective of getting it added as an amendment to the FAA reauthorization bill.  You can help move the ball forward by contacting your representative and senators and urging them to support the aviation workforce legislation.  Here’s how:

(1) Identify your representative and senators by going to https://www.govtrack.us/congress/members

(2) Determine whether your representative and senators have already signed on the bill.

(3) Click here to download ARSA’s Excel file with contact information for the staff members in each congressional office responsible for aviation and education policy issues.

  • The Excel file has two sheets, one for the Senate and one for the House (click the tab on the bottom left of the screen to move between sheets).
  • To find the name and contact information for the transportation and education staffers in your representative and senators congressional offices, simply find the name elected official’s name in “Column F” of each sheet.

(4) Open a new email.

(5) Copy and past the name of the appropriate House or Senate staffer into the “to” line of the email.

(6) Chose one of the following four emails and copy it into the body of the email:

For your representative...

If your representative has not co-sponsored the bill, use this email (click here)

In the subject line of the email, write:

Constituent Request: Please Cosponsor the Aviation Maintenance Workforce Bill (H.R. 5701)

In the email body, write:

Dear STAFFFIRSTNAME:

I’m writing to request that Rep. REPRESENTATIVELASTNAME co-sponsor H.R. 5701, a bipartisan bill that addresses a major threat to the U.S. aviation sector: the skilled technical worker shortage.

The U.S. aviation industry is facing a technician shortage of crisis proportions.  An analysis by Boeing suggests that 118,000 new technicians will be needed in North America over the next two decades.  The consulting firm Oliver Wyman has forecast that demand for aviation maintenance technicians will outstrip supply by 2022.  More than 80 percent of respondents to the Aeronautical Repair Station Association’s (ARSA) 2018 member survey reported difficulty finding qualified technicians and more than half of the responding companies have unfilled positions. 

If the technician shortage persists, it will undermine the efficiency of the U.S. aviation system and make it more difficult for U.S. companies to capitalize on opportunities in the growing global aerospace market.

H.R. 5701 (and its companion bill, S. 2506) would create a grant pilot program, administered by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), to incentivize collaboration at the local level to find solutions to the aviation maintenance workforce skills gap.  To be eligible, a grant application would have to be submitted jointly by a business or union, school, and governmental entity. 

The program would be authorized at $5 million for five years starting in 2019 and provide grants of up to $500,000 to support a wide variety of workforce development activities, including apprenticeships, scholarships, helping military personnel transition to civilian careers, and outreach to underrepresented populations and in economically challenged areas.

The legislation was introduced in the Senate on March 7, 2018 by Sens. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) and Maria Cantwell (R-Wash.) and in the House on May 8, 2018 by Reps. Sam Graves (R-Mo.), Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.), Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.) and Brenda Lawrence (D-Mich.).  It has been endorsed by 20 leading aviation organizations representing all segments of the industry, including maintainers, airlines, general aviation, manufacturers, and labor, as well as by the National League of Cities.  The industry’s letter of support is linked at: http://arsa.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/ARSA-HouseAviationWorkforceBillSupportLetter-20180507.pdf

To cosponsor H.R. 5701, please contact Jack Ruddy (jack.ruddy@mail.house.gov or 202-225-7041) in Rep. Graves office or Jonathon Freye (jonathon.freye@mail.house.gov or 202-225-5701) in Rep. Lipinski’s office.

For more information about the legislation, please contact ARSA Executive Vice President Christian Klein at christian.klein@arsa.org or 703.599.0164.

Thank you for your consideration.  Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.

Sincerely,

YOUR NAME
YOUR TITLE
YOUR COMPANY
YOUR ADDRESS
YOUR PHONE NUMBER

If your representative has co-sponsored the bill, use this email (click here)

In the subject line of the email, write:

Thank You for Cosponsoring the Aviation Maintenance Workforce Bill (H.R. 5701)

In the email body, write:

Dear STAFFFIRSTNAME:

I’m writing to thank Rep. REPRESENTATIVELASTNAME for co-sponsoring H.R. 5701, a bipartisan bill that addresses a major threat to the U.S. aviation sector: the skilled technical worker shortage.

The U.S. aviation industry is facing a technician shortage of crisis proportions.  An analysis by Boeing suggests that 118,000 new technicians will be needed in North America over the next two decades.  The consulting firm Oliver Wyman has forecast that demand for aviation maintenance technicians will outstrip supply by 2022.  More than 80 percent of respondents to the Aeronautical Repair Station Association’s (ARSA) 2018 member survey reported difficulty finding qualified technicians and more than half of the responding companies have unfilled positions. 

If the technician shortage persists, it will undermine the efficiency of the U.S. aviation system and make it more difficult for U.S. companies to capitalize on opportunities in the growing global aerospace market.

I sincerely appreciate your leadership in addressing this issue.  I hope your office will continue work actively for enactment of this bill, ideally as part of the FAA reauthorization legislation.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.

Sincerely,

YOUR NAME
YOUR TITLE
YOUR COMPANY
YOUR ADDRESS
YOUR PHONE NUMBER

For your senators...

If your senator has not co-sponsored the bill, use this email (click here)

In the subject line of the email, write:

Constituent Request: Please Cosponsor the Aviation Maintenance Workforce Bill (S. 2506)

In the email body, write:

Dear STAFFFIRSTNAME:

I’m writing to request that Sen. SENATORLASTNAME co-sponsor S. 2506, a bipartisan bill that addresses a major threat to the U.S. aviation sector: the skilled technical worker shortage.

The U.S. aviation industry is facing a technician shortage of crisis proportions.  An analysis by Boeing suggests that 118,000 new technicians will be needed in North America over the next two decades.  The consulting firm Oliver Wyman has forecast that demand for aviation maintenance technicians will outstrip supply by 2022.  More than 80 percent of respondents to the Aeronautical Repair Station Association’s (ARSA) 2018 member survey reported difficulty finding qualified technicians and more than half of the responding companies have unfilled positions. 

If the technician shortage persists, it will undermine the efficiency of the U.S. aviation system and make it more difficult for U.S. companies to capitalize on opportunities in the growing global aerospace market.

S. 2506 (and its companion bill, H.R. 5701) would create a grant pilot program, administered by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), to incentivize collaboration at the local level to find solutions to the aviation maintenance workforce skills gap. To be eligible, a grant application would have to be submitted jointly by a business or union, school, and governmental entity.

The program would be authorized at $5 million for five years starting in 2019 and provide grants of up to $500,000 to support a wide variety of workforce development activities, including apprenticeships, scholarships, helping military personnel transition to civilian careers, and outreach to underrepresented populations and in economically challenged areas.

The legislation was introduced in the Senate on March 7, 2018 by Sens. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) and Maria Cantwell (R-Wash.) and in the House on May 8, 2018 by Reps. Sam Graves (R-Mo.), Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.), Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.) and Brenda Lawrence (D-Mich.).  It has been endorsed by 20 leading aviation organizations representing all segments of the industry, including maintainers, airlines, general aviation, manufacturers, and labor, as well as by the National League of Cities.  The industry’s letter of support is linked at: http://arsa.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/ARSA-HouseAviationWorkforceBillSupportLetter-20180507.pdf

To cosponsor S. 2506, please contact Dan Hillenbrand in Sen. Inhofe’s office (dan_hillenbrand@inhofe.senate.gov or (202) 224-4721).

For more information about the legislation, please contact ARSA Executive Vice President Christian Klein at christian.klein@arsa.org or 703.599.0164.

Thank you for your consideration.  Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.

Sincerely,

YOUR NAME
YOUR TITLE
YOUR COMPANY
YOUR ADDRESS
YOUR PHONE NUMBER

If your senator has co-sponsored the bill, use this email (click here)

In the subject line of the email, write:

Thank You for Cosponsoring the Aviation Maintenance Workforce Bill (S. 2506)

In the email body, write:

Dear STAFFFIRSTNAME:

I’m writing to thank Rep. SENATORLASTNAME for co-sponsoring S. 2506, a bipartisan bill that addresses a major threat to the U.S. aviation sector: the skilled technical worker shortage.

The U.S. aviation industry is facing a technician shortage of crisis proportions.  An analysis by Boeing suggests that 118,000 new technicians will be needed in North America over the next two decades.  The consulting firm Oliver Wyman has forecast that demand for aviation maintenance technicians will outstrip supply by 2022.  More than 80 percent of respondents to the Aeronautical Repair Station Association’s (ARSA) 2018 member survey reported difficulty finding qualified technicians and more than half of the responding companies have unfilled positions. 

If the technician shortage persists, it will undermine the efficiency of the U.S. aviation system and make it more difficult for U.S. companies to capitalize on opportunities in the growing global aerospace market.

I sincerely appreciate your leadership in addressing this issue and hope your office will work actively for enactment of this bill, ideally as part of the FAA reauthorization legislation.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.

Sincerely,

YOUR NAME
YOUR TITLE
YOUR COMPANY
YOUR ADDRESS
YOUR PHONE NUMBER


To download a PDF document containing the information presented on this page, click here.

ARSA