ARSA Recognizes Inhofe for Legislative Leadership
ARSA has recognized Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) as its 2018 Legislative Leadership Award recipient. The presentation was made during a March 14 luncheon held on Capitol Hill in conjunction with the association’s annual Legislative Day.
Inhofe, a member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation and an avid private pilot, has long worked in support of the aviation industry at large. He is also a longtime champion of the aircraft maintenance community and on March 7 introduced legislation aiming to address the persistent challenge repair stations face finding and retaining technical talent.
“Sen. Inhofe’s commitment to maintenance reflects both his personal passion for aviation and our industry’s footprint in Oklahoma, where we collectively employ more than 12,000 people and contribute more than $1.3 billion to the state’s economy,” said Terrell Siegfried, assistant general counsel for Oklahoma-based NORDAM, Inc., in his introductory remarks during the event. “In fact, according to ARSA, Oklahoma has the highest per capita percentage of workers in the aviation maintenance industry of any state.”
The workforce bill, co-sponsored by Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Jerry Moran (R-Kansas) and Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) would establish a new pilot program to train maintenance professionals, help veterans transition to civilian careers and recruit new technicians. Grants of up to $500,000 per year would be available to business or unions, schools and governmental entities that partner to pursue creative solutions to one of the aviation community’s most pressing strategic challenges. The concept was developed by the legislators in coordination with ARSA and has the support of 17 aviation industry groups as well as the National League of Cities.
“Sen. Inhofe is a rare breed of elected official who really understands aviation,” said Christian A. Klein, ARSA executive vice president. “The maintenance industry – in many ways because of its excellent safety and reliability record – is too-often hidden from the public view. We need leaders who recognize the importance of maintenance, can communicate its value and will take action when the 200,000 men and women working in the sector need help. It’s great to have a champion like Sen. Inhofe and to be able to recognize his work through ARSA’s Legislative Leadership award.
To see everything that happened during ARSA’s Legislative Day, which is a component of the association’s Annual Symposium Week, visit arsa.org/symposium.