The growth of space companies makes this the “most exciting time” to get into the industry. However, one CEO says private and government organizations need to do more to attract the next generation of U.S. workers.
“I think there are ways for everyone to join in the excitement … [and] It’s a great opportunity for the government to really lean on the search for these public-private partnerships, “Steve Isakowitz, CEO of Aerospace Corporation and former President of Virgin Galactic, told attendees at the Future Series Space Innovation Summit Event ran on April 6th and 7th.
“We need to do more and expand the candidate pool – we need to make sure that all of America has the benefit of being part of the STEM, K-12, Opportunities That Are,” he added, referring to the academic discipline that is Includes science, technology, engineering, and math.
Aerospace Corporation, headquartered in El Segundo, California, is a government-funded research and development center and not-for-profit.
The company focuses on the analysis and evaluation of space programs for organizations such as NASA, the Air Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center, and the National Reconnaissance Office.
Isakowitz’s comments coincided with the publication of a report by The Aerospace Corp entitled “Developing Future Space Workers”. In the report, he stressed that he believes the space industry can work with teachers and underrepresented groups.
“I think part of that is really looking at the curriculum we are teaching our students to get interested in. We often see that when you go to elementary school there is a lot of interest in those areas and the technical areas – and then sort it off pretty quickly when they get into middle school in the high school years, “Isakowitz said.
He said the industry should not only work more with educators but also “redefine a little bit of the space job itself when it comes to how we think about education”.
Isakowitz emphasized that internships, apprenticeships and scholarships are essential to involve students and provide them with practical experience.
There are some programs like this one, like the Brooke Owens Fellowship, which helps undergraduate women get placed on space projects, or the Patti Grace Smith Fellowship, which allows black students to find internships.
Isakowitz also highlighted the importance of space agencies, which broaden the definition of what it means to have an impact on the industry.
Taking the example of his previous job, he said there was a whiteboard on the doors of the factory with little sayings – like “Today is a great day” or “Wonderful job, everyone on trial” – every morning, but none of his colleagues knew who wrote the encouragement.
After “slaughtering a bit”, Isakowitz said he found out that it was “a young woman on the janitorial staff who would come in at night”.
“You don’t have to be the head of the organization or the chief engineer to feel like you’re part of something bigger,” he said.
Space Talent, a job exchange run by the Space Capital investment group, features more than 3,600 job vacancies at space infrastructure companies – companies that build spacecraft, rockets and more.
These vacancies span a range of disciplines, from accounting to IT, design, manufacturing, and more.
A wave of investment over the past decade has resulted in a new generation of private space companies led by Elon Musk’s SpaceX.
The private sector is “really driving a lot of the changes we’re seeing in space now,” Isakowitz said, with the benefit of “having a new ability to attract the kind of talent and excitement we need to really get people into this.” Industry to bring. ” “”
While he and Aerospace Corp see more work to create opportunities, Isakowitz said his company is “hiring people outside of the industry” and looking for more ways to work with educators.