|Efforts Across Central Florida Focus on Aerospace Workforce
Aerospace funding impacts jobs and businesses not only on the Space Coast in Brevard County, but across the State of Florida. Almost $1.2 billion is infused into Florida's economy with the overwhelming majority going to the Kennedy Space Center. Following recent announcements about NASA redirection, industry leaders across the region are working to manage the economic impact of this change and maintain a large, highly skilled workforce.
Regional Aerospace Workforce Initiative (RAWI) Leverages Partnerships
Brevard Workforce, utilizing a Regional Innovation Grant, formed a regional partnership with the Florida High Tech Corridor Council, Workforce Central Florida and the Center for Business Excellence to create an integrated regional strategy to address large workforce changes across the region due to the Space Shuttle program retirement.
The Regional Aerospace Workforce Initiative (RAWI) was born in July 2009 to build strong ties with business and government leaders from Brevard, Flagler, Lake, Orange, Osceola, Seminole and Volusia Counties in order to respond to the aerospace workforce needs. The resulting program will also become a "rapid response" model to be implemented again in the future for other workforce and economic challenges that face the region.
Our Mission Now:
First Task: Information!
- To promote the highly skilled aerospace workforce to employers across the region and throughout Florida.
- To learn about the current and future workforce needs from businesses including specific skills in targeted industries. This allows Brevard Workforce to identify workers that best fit these needs as well as design education and training programs to best prepare the workers for these positions.
The RAWI team first conducted an analysis of the resources in the region to determine what gaps exist in how economic development, workforce, education and industry communicate with one another when faced with massive workforce layoffs. A Core Regional Leadership group was established to provide oversight and implementation of the regional strategy -- a group that meets quarterly to assist with such activities as mapping out the regional training assets, provide a more comprehensive understanding of targeted industry clusters, existing infrastructure and support organizations that can assist in the workforce mssion.
Insight Into Regional Programs, Initiatives and Studies
Brevard Workforce estimates more than 9,200 workers are affected by the Space Shuttle program retirement and the cancellation of the Constellation program, (aerospace and support personnel) representing a combined income of $600 billion dollars, with a secondary contribution to the Florida economy of $2.6 billion.
Targeted industry clusters with
the most potential for new jobs:
Modeling & Simulation
• Established a Core Regional Leadership group made up of leaders representing workforce, education, economic development, industry, technology, and regional interests.
• Identified communication gaps in regional delivery systems.
• Reviewed the region’s existing and emerging industries for employment opportunities.
• Identified area resources that can assist the workforce in preparing for job transition including training organizations and educational institutions.
• Obtained feedback from community leaders that will assist with the development of a communications plan for business.
• Conducted two meetings with the regional committee to help guide the overall development of a regional strategy. The group has established a targeted list of objectives that will be addressed in the strategic plan and addressed by all parties in the region.