FAA Aircraft Pilots Workforce Development Program

About

The FAA is investing in the future aviation workforce by providing grants to academia and the aviation community to help prepare a more inclusive talent pool of pilots and aviation maintenance technicians, to inspire and recruit the next generation of aviation professionals.

In the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018, Congress addressed the projected shortages of aircraft pilots in the aviation industry by giving the FAA the authority to establish an Aviation Workforce Development Grant Program to expand the aircraft pilots workforce and provide meaningful aviation education designed to prepare students to become aircraft pilots, aerospace engineers, or unmanned aircraft systems operators, and support the related professional development of teachers.

FAA’s Aircraft Pilots Workforce Development Program provides funding to support projects that generate interest in and prepare students for careers as aircraft pilots, aerospace engineers, or unmanned aircraft systems operators, as well the creation and delivery of new and existing curriculum designed to provide high school students with this education and the educators’ training.

Award

Kent State University has been selected as one of thirty-two schools nationwide to receive a significant grant from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) aimed at fostering the development of the future workforce in the aviation industry. This $419,708 grant is earmarked for an initiative aimed at bolstering the workforce for aircraft pilots and unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) operators in Northeast Ohio.

Project Description

The project will train high school students to engage, nurture student interest in aviation careers and use manned/unmanned aircraft flights for in-person, virtual reality, and online media in northeast Ohio. These three media will be designed to capture, train, and develop teachers that will nurture student interest in aviation careers by teaching the next generation of aircraft pilots and UAS operators from differing socioeconomic backgrounds, and especially focused on underrepresented and under-served populations.

This initiative is set to introduce a comprehensive workforce development program targeting high school students and teachers across up to 10 partner schools in the region. The program is designed to provide essential educational and training opportunities in aircraft piloting and UAS operation and will target communities historically excluded from STEM, underscoring Kent State’s dedication to extending opportunities to rural, urban, disadvantaged, and underrepresented groups. This not only aims to enrich the diversity of the emerging aviation workforce, but also to spark economic development and foster entrepreneurship within these communities.

Workshops

During the summer and early fall of 2024, 3-day train-the-trainer workshops will be provided to 40+ high school teachers from Northeast Ohio and the surrounding region as part of the workforce development program for high school students. The high school teachers will be trained in a curriculum that will be a meaningful experience in preparing students to become aircraft pilots and/or unmanned aircraft systems operators.  As part of their training, the teachers will be given the opportunity to earn a Part 107 Remote Pilot sUAS Certificate through in class and online training. A total of four workshops will be held at the Kent State campus and airport. Housing and meals will be provided.

Are you a high school faculty member who would like to participate in these workshops?

Request information about upcoming workshops

Upcoming Workshops

"Drones: Toy, Tool or Airplane? Coexisting with Planes"

Thursday, May 30th - Saturday, June 1st
8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Interested in the operations of airplanes and drones? Eager to learn about safe drone flying practices, the FAA's Small UAS Rule (Part 107), and how to obtain your Remote Pilot Certificate? Curious about drones' campus applications and the legal aspects of flying them? Join our workshop tailored for the Kent State community, hosted by the College of Aeronautics and Engineering: “Drones: Toy, Tool, or Airplane? Coexisting with Planes.”

This three-day workshop is free and open to all Kent State students, faculty, and staff. Topics covered include drone flight techniques, Part 107 certification guidance, drone registration procedures, and operating within a crewed environment.

We believe in promoting safe drone operations for everyone's well-being.

Registration is closed for this workshop.

 

"Elevate Your Teaching Skills & Fly to New Heights"

Thursday, August 1st - Saturday, August 3rd - No housing provided
8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Interested in bringing airplane and drone operations training to your high school? Eager to learn about safe flying practices and how to teach these subjects to your students? Inspired to create pathways for students to become a pilot of manned and unmanned aircraft? Ready to obtain your Remote Pilot Certificate? Join our workshop hosted by the College of Aeronautics and Engineering: “Drones: Coexisting with Planes.”

This three-day workshop is free and open to high school educators and administrators who want to educate future manned aircraft pilots and UAS operators. Topics covered include drone flight techniques, Part 107 certification guidance, drone registration procedures, and operating within a crewed environment. This workshop includes training sessions to use Kent State’s established curriculum and tools to discuss educational and career pathways with students, and training in virtual reality (VR) curriculum in aircraft pilot and UAS operations.

Register for "Elevate Your Teaching Skills & Fly to New Heights" Workshop