AIA Magazine: Missouri Emerges as Aerospace Talent, Innovation Hub

In the Autumn Executive Report magazine published by the Aerospace Industries Association, Missouri’s statewide strengths in aerospace manufacturing and talent development were highlighted.

“With more than 100 aerospace companies across Missouri, efforts aimed at workforce development are intense,” Don Meyer with AIA writes. “Where Missouri shines is that we find, and develop, made-to-order talent,” says Subash Alias, SVP and head of aerospace attraction for Missouri Partnership told AIA. “St. Louis Community College has designed a pre-employment training program for Boeing and Missouri S&T in Rolla is directly supporting Boeing’s supply chain.”

“There is a skilled workforce with a long tradition of aerospace expertise in St. Louis and throughout Missouri,” John F. “Cub” Marion, VP & General Manager for GKN Aerospace in St. Louis told Meyer. “Our workforce has a passion for innovation and supporting our customer. I believe there is a bright future for Missouri and for GKN Aerospace, which includes upgrades to legacy platforms and the excitement of new product introduction.”

“Over the years, Missouri has taken a prudent and responsible path to manage its budget, while at the same time providing targeted incentives to encourage manufacturing and business like Boeing to thrive,” Shelly Lavender, Boeing SVP of Strike, Surveillance and Mobility told AIA. “The future for Boeing in Missouri is very positive.”

And what of the future? What about generational trends, retirements, and the ongoing need for young people to chose STEM careers?

“An airshow can’t hurt,” writes Meyer. In 2014 and 2016, the Spirit of St. Louis Airshow hosted airshows featuring the made-in-Missouri US Navy Blue Angels and a well-attended STEM expo that was a huge hit with kids and their parents. Another air show and STEM expo is being planned for 2018.

According to AIA, Missouri continues to generate tremendous talent and remains a sought-after destination for innovative aerospace companies.

You can read the full article in the AIA Executive Report magazine at


Photo description – Missouri-made F/A-18 over the Missouri & Mississippi Rivers. Credit: Kevin Flynn/Boeing