Search for Skilled Workers in Aerospace Grows as Industry Reaches New Heights in North Texas

September 05, 2019 by Midlothian Economic Development

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Over the years, Texas has been viewed as the driving force behind many different critical industries. Now, it has reached a new height of being one of the most important locations for aerospace and aviation manufacturers. 

The Dallas-Fort Worth area has become an operations hub for these sectors. As it grows at unfounded rates, there is an equally increasing need for skilled engineering, manufacturing, and maintenance personnel.

Aviation and Aerospace Flourish in Texas

With Texas ranked No. 2 in PricewaterhouseCoopers’ list for top states in aerospace manufacturing, it’s no surprise there is a growing need for highly-skilled workers. 

From DFW Airport to San Antonio International, Texas has six of the 50 busiest airports in the nation. In total, the state has 26 commercial airports serving 22 cities and a robust civil aviation culture.

Not to mention the fact DFW is home to the headquarters of multiple major airlines, such as American and Southwest Airlines, the aerospace manufacturing facilities of Boeing, Lockheed Martin, L-3 and Bell Helicopter, and 14 other aerospace companies who perform defense contracts. 

The location of all these major players has transformed North Texas into a hub for aerospace and aviation and spurred a huge draw for industry-related professionals.

Not only are all these industry leaders located in the same place, but they are growing and thriving in North Texas. To put it in perspective, the state’s aerospace and aviation industry directly employ over 130,000 — and it's still in need of skilled workers, and will be even more so over the next year as companies continue to increase their bottom line and expand operations. 

PwC views the Texas aerospace and defense industry as “well-positioned to consider expansion opportunities” at a time when the sector is “poised to achieve new record [financial] results.” 

Texas is in line to land thousands of additional aerospace-related manufacturing and engineering jobs as companies in the fast-growing sector heed the ranking of the Lone Star State being one of the top competitive places for businesses.

Wide Open Spaces for the Industry

The term “wide open spaces” has long been associated with Texas, but in the context of the aviation industry, it is a fact that is extremely beneficial for the sector's current needs. 

With an abundance of land in North Texas, aerospace and aviation companies are finding they have plenty of space for their operations and warehouses at an affordable price. Unlike California, where rent per square foot is $84, North Texas companies can more than afford to build and expand. 

Aerospace and aviation facilities are taking notice and making great use of the wide-open spaces — filling it with great minds to meet the growing sector’s needs.

One example of this is Aeromax Industries Inc.’s headquarter relocation from California to North Texas. The move highlights North Texas’ ample space and community that leading aerospace manufacturers need. 

Increasing Demand for Air Travel 

As the Baby Boomer generation retires at an increasing rate (roughly 10,000 a day) and millennials invest more into seeing the world, the demand for air travel is increasing. Not to mention the widespread growing trend for families, couples, and friends to travel more than ever before.  

In 2018, demand for air travel increased by 7.4 percent, which was the eighth consecutive year above 5 percent. This far exceeds global economic growth expectations and results in heightened demand for aircraft, engine, and parts manufacturing. This past year has been no different with a 6.5 percent increase in demand, and The International Air Transport Association projects air travel demand will double in the next 20 years.

As demand for air travel spikes, the responsibility for meeting these growing demands lands on one of the top aviation hubs of the world — Texas. 

Along with Washington, Texas is the main carrier for the aviation industry; including manufacturing warehouses, engineering and aircraft facilities, and major airline headquarters. North Texas, specifically the DFW region, is one of the few places equipped to produce what is needed in aviation to meet this increasing demand; including lower taxes, fewer regulations, affordable energy resources, and ample space, among many other benefits

Influx of New Texas Flight Routes

Between Southwest and American Airlines alone, more than 30 routes involving North Texas airports were announced and began service in 2019. Most of these domestic and international routes run multiple times a week, some multiple times a day. Since then, as they’ve expanded further and more airlines have followed suit, the number of new flight routes has only grown; consequently, so has the need for more engineers and technicians to operate and support the running of these flights. 

More recently, American Airlines and Sun Country Airlines have introduced new routes from North Texas to the Caribbean. Due to a growing trend in Caribbean travel paired with Texas’s prime central location, airlines have taken advantage of opening new services to these islands.

With each new flight added, it amounts to additional sets of hands needed on the manufacturing and maintenance of the aircraft. Research shows that the addition of one new destination can lead to between 98 and 223 new jobs.  

Further, more travelers are choosing to fly out of North Texas, especially since Dallas Love Field airport is the third cheapest airport to fly out of in the U.S. The study also showed that 100 passengers added a day to the volume an airport serves can add between 98 and 315 new jobs.

All of this points to one, singular fact — there is a growing need in Texas for aerospace and aviation personnel. This revolutionary state is on the path to becoming one of the largest hubs in the world for this industry, and skilled workers can help make it happen.

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