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Building a Collaborative:  A plan to successfully engage youth in Aerospace College and Career Exploration 
Meet a few of our partners:

                                                   Increasing Diversity & Inclusion increases organizational sustainability

Our industry is experiencing a shortage of employees, with the need increasing over the next decade, and research indicates that past programs have not increased youth interest, engagement, or readiness for the workplace.

Funding for the project will be provided by companies utilizing support of VECTORS as part of their Social Responsibility programs. We speak to Sustainable Social Responsibility which includes business strategies and activities that meet goals for economic growth, environmental regulations, social justice and equity. We take Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and incorporate a component focused on impacting the company and their engagement with diversity and inclusion initiatives. Our program is sustainable because we are creating an environment in organizations that welcome the youth considering future employment in the industry.

Developing equity and access in STEM education opportunities, especially for the substantial rural population in Oregon, will increase the number of future employees for aerospace companies.  Offering current employee’s opportunity to support community engagement programs are shown to increase their job satisfaction, commitment to the company, and benefit the organization through increases in recruitment success as well as employee retention.

Sustainable Social Responsibility will meet the needs and aspirations of a company today while also securing their future workforce. Companies with strong social responsibility programs demonstrate higher level of employee satisfaction, and engagement which also impacts recruitment and retention which reduces Human Resources related expenses. When combined with strong Diversity & Inclusion programs to create Sustainable Social Responsibility (SSR) programs,, an organization can realize greater financial impact. A recent McKinsey study shows that ethnically diverse companies are 35% more financially stable, and gender diverse companies are 15% more financially stable.

SSR that increases diversity in Aerospace companies is the passion of our founder, and this part of VECTORS will be her primary responsibility.

Mission:  To increase the prosperity of families, communities, and companies by collaborating with all parties committed to success and economic security for all stakeholders by building stronger Aerospace education, employment, and business development opportunities.


Aerospace Career Exploration System

Our goal is to create a statewide collaborative that supports youth engagement from pre-k through transition into careers in the Aviation and Space industry, which is facing critical shortages of qualified employees for current and future positions. The industry is focused on more than merely filling high-wage jobs, but ensuring that they have a diverse, equitable workforce and seeking to provide opportunity to non-dominant group members.  Extending opportunities to all students in our state provides new options for historically underrepresented students and greatly increases the number of qualified employees available to the Aerospace Industry.

The Aerospace Industry in Oregon 

Aerospace is a critical industry for our state acknowledged as such in the Oregon Business Plan (OBP).  Launched in 2002, OBP is an ongoing collaborative effort that engages the business community, Oregon’s elected leaders, and other key stakeholders to achieve greater economic growth and prosperity across all of Oregon’s regions.  The plan focuses on industry clusters and has recognized aviation as a key sector. Our state is home to a variety of Aerospace companies, including a McMinnville company recognized as the largest manufacturer of UAV engines in the United States. Nationally STEM related jobs make up 6.9% of industry; yet in areas like Corvallis, Oregon’s jobs are 22% STEM-related. Aviation is also a major component of plans for emergency response as well as a factor in the growth of our rural communities.


First Steps 

  • Assess the current landscape of available Aerospace related apprenticeship/career and technical education programs in Oregon

  • Evaluate current offerings of curriculum and programs for youth engagement and utilize OregonASK Access and Equity Map to reflect current programs, identify gaps and develop an evaluation system. Each partner programs and company will participate in evaluations to ensure transparency, cost evaluation, and impact with common criteria.

  • Pilot programs at rural, suburban, and urban locations with virtual engagement available for organizations in other areas.  These programs in Portland, Hillsboro, Grants Pass, Canby, Aurora, and Salem will have a virtual component that will allow virtual streaming for rural locations.

  • Implement expansion of programs to meet the needs and expectations of youth, families, community, educators, academics and industry partners in all regions of Oregon

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