On Thursday, April 14th COE Executive Director Jason Petrait spoke at the Seattle European American Air Forum, held at the Museum of Flight and hosted by the French-American Chamber of Commerce. Jason joined representatives from Washington’s Department of Commerce, the Safran Group, Patriot Industrial Partners, and Saxon Aerospace on the Workforce & HR Attractivity Panel to talk about the state of recruitment and retention in the local aerospace sector.

Panelists stressed the importance of culture and vision, taking on the question of how to install a workplace based on respect and shared goals from the start of employment. Conversation turned to communications and understanding the needs of the current workforce. Panelists stressed how much the pandemic has affected the workforce while recognizing that the aerospace industry needs people in-person and hands-on. 

The hour ended with the question, “Is aerospace cool anymore?” Jason and other panelists recognized that the role of aerospace in the local employment landscape has changed. What was once seen as cutting-edge and highly paid work has been supplanted in many peoples’ minds by IT jobs. The group highlighted that there are all kinds of fascinating aerospace-related endeavors happening locally: the start-up of electric aviation companies; the expansion of the space subsector and the engineering, technology, and manufacturing jobs that come with that expansion; and the continued growth and importance of what we’ve done for 100+ years locally, build the best planes in the sky. 

Find out more about the French-American Chamber of Commerce’s Pacific Northwest chapter and the Seattle European American Air Forum here https://www.faccpnw.org