The Boeing Co. and Lockheed Martin Corp. announced significant, near-term commitments to provide employees with better training opportunities. Boeing will offer a combination of increased work-based learning (apprenticeships and internships), continuing education, on-the-job training, and “re-skilling." Lockheed Martin committed to create 8,000 apprenticeship opportunities and invest $5 million in vocational and trade programs over the next five years.
Both companies are responding to the President Donald J. Trump’s establishment of the National Council for the American Worker, which is intended to foster development of a national strategy to address "urgent workforce issues" by developing a campaign to raise awareness about the "skills crisis" and the importance of STEM education; create plans for recognizing companies that demonstrate excellence in workplace education, training, retraining policies, and workforce investment; and expand the number of apprenticeships and promote investment in training/re-training of workers.
In addition, the Council will recommend actions to increase transparency in education and job-training programs, and propose ways to increase available job data. Finally, the Council will consider and implement recommendations from the American Workforce Policy Advisory Board.
Boeing plans to work with Degreed.com to provide employees with access to online lessons, certification and degree programs (building on existing learning and development resources.) It will invest in "re-skilling programs" to help employees enhance technical skills and understand technological trends. Initial programs will focus on digital literacy, engineering and supply chain.
Boeing previously announced a $300-million investment in its workforce as a result of U.S. tax reform, with $100 million dedicated to workforce development.
Lockheed Martin’s commitment to 8,000 opportunities will prioritize high-school student internships for non-full-time aerospace and defense positions; programs to provide new employees with rotational job experiences and leadership training; continuous learning for mid-career employees, to help them keep their skills current with evolving requirements and emerging technologies; and technical apprentice programs that focus on a specific trade or skill, and offer credentials and future employment opportunity.
Lockheed’s $5-million investment is part of a previously announced tax-reform savings plan, which includes a $50-million investment to support of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) scholarships, and a $100-million/five-year investment to expand employee training and educational opportunities.
"The U.S. aerospace and defense industry relies predominantly on an American workforce and is disproportionally impacted by the shortage of skilled manufacturing workers to fill critical jobs," stated Lockheed chairman, president, and CEO Marillyn A. Hewson. "The president has raised this issue to a level of national urgency and we are ready to do our part.”