LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR WILL AINSWORTH ANNOUNCES NEW AEROSPACE INDUSTRY PROGRAMS FOR STUDENTS AND SMALL BUSINESSES
Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth announced two new programs that will open doors for qualified high school students, college students, and small businesses interested in working within Alabama’s internationally known aerospace industry.
The programs are being offered in partnership with the Alabama Chapter of the Aerospace States Association. The Aerospace States Association (ASA) is a group of elected officials, academics, and private sector entities from states with ties to the aviation and aerospace industries. The founding partners of the Alabama outreach programs are Lockheed Martin Space, United Launch Alliance, U.S. Space and Rocket Center, National Space Club-Huntsville, and the Huntsville-Madison County Chamber of Commerce. Ainsworth is the national chairman of the ASA and hosted the group’s annual conference in Huntsville in 2019.
“For more than a half-century, Alabama has been a national leader in aerospace development and technology, and if we are going to maintain that role, we must develop a new generation of students, individuals, and businesses with the qualifications to work within the industry,” Ainsworth said. “At the same time that we provide opportunities for students and small businesses that need them, we will grow Alabama’s economy and create long-lasting, well-paying jobs in an area that is expanding exponentially.”
The new two-week internship program will allow high school and college students from across the state to learn about the various companies, programs, and opportunities within Alabama’s aerospace industry. The program will include bringing students to partner facilities, like Lockheed Martin Space and ULA, and allow them to take tours and interact with engineers and business leaders about their career pathways.
The unpaid internship is designed to provide students with opportunities to learn about various jobs in aerospace, educate them about the courses to pursue in school in order to get the job they want, and inform them about the skills and abilities that companies are seeking.
ASA Alabama will also provide outreach to small business owners throughout the state who are interested in either starting to work as a supplier or subcontractor in the aerospace industry or expanding their current work in that area.
Small businesses will be invited to participate in forums and supplier conferences designed to connect them with industry contacts and guide them in next steps.
Ainsworth said similar internships and small business programs have been utilized in other states, and he is confident that they can prove successful in Alabama, as well.