This year, 50 different entities will be considered for Aerospace and Aviation Education Program grants totaling more than $365,000 from the Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission. The record amount of funding will be used to bring more students in Oklahoma to STEM careers, particularly those in aerospace and aviation.
Grants will be awarded for targeted learning programs that have a direct application to aerospace and aviation for primary through post-secondary education. The grant funds are part of the agency’s initiative to give more Oklahoma young people access to STEM careers in the aerospace and aviation industry.
Aviation and aerospace are a significant economic engine in the state providing 206,000 direct and indirect jobs. For commerce and communities, a safe, reliable, and accessible aviation system is critical. The commission’s Aerospace and Aviation Education Program encourages both young and adult Oklahomans to consider aviation and aerospace as a career. The initiative supports the Oklahoma Works project that aims to address the skills gap and connect students to programs that will help build the workforce of Oklahoma’s second-largest industry. Funding requests totaled over $567,470 this year, which underscores the importance of aviation and the realization that an adequate workforce is the lifeblood of the industry.
The commission’s program has been recognized twice by the National Association of State Aviation Officials (NASAO), enjoying a positive reputation for investing millions in aerospace and aviation education programs statewide. Since FY2001, the program has awarded over $4.15M in aerospace and aviation education grants.
The commission will consider approval of grants totaling $365,804 on Wednesday, Aug. 11.