January 20, 2023

Duckworth Tours Rockford’s AAR Corp, Underscores Importance of Community Workforce Development


[ROCKFORD, IL] – Today, U.S. Senator and pilot Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) toured AAR Corp’s facilities and met with leadership of the aviation service provider. Duckworth viewed multiple ten-story bays that hold the Boeing 737s that AAR is modifying for the military as well as 737s being held for maintenance repair. During the tour, the Senator emphasized the importance of strengthening the Rockford workforce through aviation technical training and job placement programs with local colleges. Photos of the tour are available here.

“I applaud companies like AAR not only for their innovative work in the aviation industry, but also for the jobs and the training they provide to hardworking Illinoisans in Rockford,” Duckworth said. “I’m proud that a company that prioritizes technological advancement is based here in the great state of Illinois and that they are helping develop the next generation of manufacturers.”

The Senator has long been an advocate for good-paying manufacturing careers. Last month, Duckworth and U.S. Senator Moran (R-KS) introduced the bipartisan Aviation Workforce Development Enhancement Act to help meet future needs in our aviation workforce in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The bill would help expand the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)’s current Aviation Workforce Development Grant program by increasing annual funding for pilot development and mechanic development grants, as well as provide grant funding for aviation manufacturing workforce development.

AAR partners with Rock Valley College to train students in manufacturing, which allowed AAR to double their workforce from 2016-2019 and help economically empower the surrounding community. This is a workforce development model that Duckworth has championed, especially through her reintroduction of the Community College to Career Fund in Higher Education Act (CC2C) last Congress, legislation to make education more affordable for students pursuing degrees in high-skill industries and help businesses fill vacant, good-paying positions with qualified candidates. Duckworth previously introduced this bill in 2019.