Pathways to Aviation formerly known as the Reno Air Racing Foundation is committed to education collaboration with grades K-12 and colleges all assisting students and teachers in a pathway to workforce development in the aviation industry in Nevada. This year they are expanding the Aviation Learning Center from 4800 square feet to over 104,000 square feet, over 2 acres, for students to attend during the Air Races with an Aircraft and Rocketry tent, Space Exploration classroom tent, Unmanned Aerial Vehicle tent and a Career and Industry tent with aviation industry businesses, colleges and representatives of all forms of the aviation industry. Pathways to Aviation is also teaming up with the University of Nevada to host an expanded Drone Zone. Over 3000 students have been registered for field trips to visit the Aviation Learning Center and it is projected that nearly 5000 students will be participating in classes and hands on learning experiences available in the Aviation Learning Center. Over 10 high schools are expected to participate in High School day programs at Reno/Stead Airport during the Reno Air Races.
Pathways to Aviation is charting a new course for the future of the aviation and aerospace industry in Nevada. The organization is working with local and statewide education leaders to empower a new generation of aviation industry workforce, experts and leaders by filling aviation industry jobs with quality Nevada labor.
There are several challenges and opportunities facing the aviation industry and in the state of Nevada. The industry needs a skilled labor force, especially well-trained and certified personnel. There is a soon-to-be severe workforce shortage of pilots and mechanics. Expected growth in tourism and corporate travel will force a need for more employees and higher quality of personnel throughout the aviation industry. Nevada as a flight test state for drones is driving the industry to new levels, regulations, certifications, and leadership. The average age of aircraft owners continues to rise and a need for the younger generation to become involved.
“The aviation industry is looking for a professional workforce in our state and we intend to chart a course for kids in grades 5 through college and develop a workforce to meet the demands of the aviation industry in Nevada,” said Eric Henry, President, Board of Directors, Pathways to Aviation in a press release.
Key features to the Aviation Learning Center are classes and presentations, aviation expert presentations, career discussions, drone flying, drone building, rocketry and industry workshops. The Learning Center will also feature aviation businesses and universities displays and information, host college and career discussions and workshops, offer hands on experiences and educational exhibits for all students.
Visit the schedule on Guidebook for a complete online schedule for all days in the Aviation Learning Center. No need to download an app, this is a mobile optimized web site for your convenience.
“Our partnership with the Washoe County School District proved to be a smashing success by hosting field trips at last year’s Reno Air Races,” said Pete Parker, Executive Director, Pathways to Aviation in a press release. “Together, we’re now collaboratively addressing workforce development. As a result, the Aviation Learning Center has expanded to over 104,000 square feet of educational and hands-on learning experiences.”
The Aviation Learning Center opens Wednesday, September 14, 8 AM as Workforce Wednesday, starting with presentations to economic development officials, Chamber of Commerce, business representatives, state and local education leaders, Rotaries and other community business leaders by showcasing the size and scope of the aviation industry in both Nevada and the nation. Middle and high school students will begin arriving at 9 AM and spend the day learning. Thursday, September 15 celebrates Unmanned Aircraft Day, beginning with a forum of the state’s UAS leaders with exhibits, hands on learning, building and drone racing. Friday, September 16 is Next Generation Day with even more school children arriving at the Aviation Learning Center to hear presentations from aviation industry experts, build rockets and experience space exploration. Saturday, September 17 is PSA Airlines Career Day for airlines and business aviation along with industry exhibits. Classes and presentations will be offered from experts and industry exhibits. Sunday, September 18 is Heritage Aviation Day, highlighted by a Civil Air Patrol 75th Anniversary Celebration. Students and Air Race attendees can hear about the history of aviation.
“The Reno Air Races provides an opportunity for us to showcase outstanding relationships with organizations like the Reno Air Racing Association, Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority, Washoe County School District, Nevada Business Aviation Association, University of Nevada, Embry Riddle University, national and international airlines and manufacturers such as Boeing and many others to address the aviation industry’s growth and workforce opportunities,” says Parker.