July 21, 2023

Duckworth Tours Lewis University’s Aviation School, Discusses Bill to Boost Aviation Training and Workforce


[ROMEOVILLE, IL] – U.S. Senator and pilot Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) today visited Lewis University’s College of Aviation, Science and Technology to visit their onsite hangar and highlight her work to strengthen the aviation workforce. Duckworth, a member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation (CST) and Chair of the Subcommittee on Aviation Safety, Operations and Innovation recently helped introduce the Aviation Workforce Development and Recruitment Act, bipartisan legislation to address the aviation workforce shortages by boosting resources to help recruit and train pilots, aviation manufacturing workers and mechanics. Photos from today’s tour are available here.

“Lewis University’s location near major airports and its work to recruit underrepresented talent reinforces that opportunities for good-paying aviation careers exist right here in Illinois,” said Duckworth. “It was great to visit today and highlight how the Aviation Workforce Development and Recruitment Act can support education and recruitment for the well-trained pilots, mechanics and manufacturers of tomorrow.”

“We have launched a transformative collaboration that will help shape the future of aviation. By fostering inclusive opportunities and harnessing the power of diverse perspectives, we are propelling the industry forward and paving the way for a more equitable and vibrant aviation community,” said Lewis University Provost Dr. Christopher Sindt. “With Senator Duckworth’s leadership and our shared vision, we are soaring to new heights, preparing the next generation of skilled professionals who will take flight and redefine what’s possible in aviation.”

The Aviation Workforce Development and Recruitment Act, which was included the Senate FAA reauthorization bill, would provide grants for eligible projects to support the education and recruitment of pilots, aviation maintenance workers, as well as the aviation manufacturing workforce of the future.

The bill will triple annual funding levels for FAA Workforce Development Grants that support institutions that train pilots and aviation mechanics from $10 million to $30 million. It authorizes an additional $10 million per year for a new grant program that supports institutions that train aviation manufacturing workers, for a total annual authorization level of $40 million per year for aviation workforce development grants, which amounts to a five-year authorization level of $200 million.