Press Release

Welch, Sanders, Balint Announce $9.9 Million Investment Championed by Leahy for New Aviation and Aerospace Manufacturing Workforce Training Center in Burlington School District

Sep 11, 2023

WASHINGTON – Secured by former Senator and Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) through the Congressionally Directed Spending Process, the Vermont Congressional Delegation today announced $9.9 million will be invested in the Burlington School District to educate and train the next generation in aviation and aerospace manufacturing. Administered by the United States Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology, the federal funds will build a new aviation and aerospace manufacturing workforce training center that aims to serve up to 150 Vermont high school students and adults each year.

This investment will strengthen the local economy, create new career opportunities for young people and adult Vermonters, and help retain and propel forward Vermont’s combined $2 billion aerospace and aviation industry which supports over 9,500 jobs in the state. 

“I was proud to include funding for this Burlington aviation workforce training center in the FY22 Appropriations bill,” said former Senator Leahy. “The center will offer students and adults interested in aerospace careers the skills they need for aviation jobs, a growing industry in Vermont that I have always been proud to support. In recent years, we have seen an explosive growth in job opportunities at Burlington Airport – in large part thanks to BETA which is leading the way in the development and production of eVTOL aircraft.”

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Sen. Peter Welch (D-Vt.), and Rep. Becca Balint (Vt.-AL) said: “Burlington School District’s new training center will open up job opportunities in Vermont and show our next generation of aviation technicians and manufacturers that the sky is the limit. Training young people in new and emerging technologies, and reskilling workers in the field are equally essential to fostering a strong workforce in Vermont. The Vermonters trained here will play an important role in securing Vermont’s sustainable future through the growth of electric aviation. This investment is thanks to the dedication of Senator Leahy and his staff, the Burlington School District, and our forward-thinking, community-based aviation and aerospace industries in Vermont.”

The new center will train Vermonters in avionics, maintenance, repair and overhaul, and airframe and power plant skills – helping to close the skills gap and workforce labor shortage in the aviation and aerospace manufacturing industries, and create jobs in Vermont. Graduates will be able to enter careers in commercial, military, government, and private aviation, and use connections with the Vermont college system to gain higher degrees and qualifications in these fields.