Larsen, Young and Craig Introduce Bill to Promote Transportation Career Opportunities

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Rep. Rick Larsen (WA-02), Rep. Don Young (AK) and Rep. Angie Craig (MN-02) introduced bipartisan legislation to promote career opportunities in the transportation industry. The Promoting Service in Transportation Act (H.R. 5118) authorizes the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to develop a series of broadcast, digital and print media public service announcement campaigns to promote job opportunities and improve diversity in the transportation workforce.

The need for more professional airline pilots, air traffic controllers, railroad workers and truck drivers, mechanics, among other professions, grows as industry stakeholders face increased competition worldwide. For instance, the aviation industry will need more than 800,000 pilots, 769,000 technicians and nearly 20,000 air traffic controllers to meet demand over the next 10 years. The trucking industry needs 60,000 to 100,000 more drivers each year. Not only does the transportation workforce face significant shortages, there is also a diversity issue: over 90 percent of professional airline pilots and truck drivers are white males.

To meet these goals and develop a more diverse workforce, transportation opportunities should be better promoted to all Americans.

“In Washington state and across the country, transportation means jobs,” said Rep. Larsen, a senior member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. “As demand continues to grow, it is important all Americans are aware of the career opportunities available in the transportation sector to grow the next generation workforce. I will continue working in Congress to make sure all Americans have access to good-paying jobs and more skills training to succeed.”

“When it comes to transportation, Alaska’s unique geography can present many challenges that require a first-rate transportation workforce to overcome,” said Rep. Young, a senior member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. “Our aviation industry is essential to Alaska’s economic health, and we must continue to be able to meet the demands of this critical sector. The Promoting Service in Transportation Act is an important piece of legislation that helps ensure that Alaska can continue to hire and retain top-notch pilots, truckers, and other transit workers to support an industry that we all depend on. I am grateful to Congressman Rick Larsen for his leadership on this crucial legislation and look forward to working together to get it across the finish line.”

“I’m a proud original cosponsor of the Promoting Service in Transportation Act, which will raise awareness of jobs available in the transportation industry,” said Rep. Craig, a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. “This bill aims to attract young people across Minnesota's Second Congressional District to exciting and in-demand local career opportunities such as the district's air traffic control facility in Farmington, and our regional aviation hub, the Minneapolis – St. Paul Airport. The transportation industry faces workforce and diversity challenges that we must address now."

"The United States transportation industry, and in particular the aviation sector, is facing significant workforce challenges," said National Business Aviation Association President and CEO Ed Bolen. "Thank you, Chairman Rick Larsen, Congressman Don Young and Congresswoman Angie Craig for introducing this important bipartisan legislation that will help attract the next generation of transportation professionals at a time when they are most needed.  We will do all we can to advance its approval."

The Promoting Service in Transportation Act will establish a series of DOT public service announcement campaigns to:

  • Promote career opportunities in the transportation sector, including pilots, safety inspectors, mechanics and technicians, air traffic controllers, flight attendants, truck drivers, engineers, transit workers, railroad workers, and other transportation professionals.
  • Increase diversity, including race, gender, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status, of professionals in the transportation sector.

The bill is supported by the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA), Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA), Aeronautical Repair Station Association (ARSA), Professional Aviation Safety Specialists (PASS), Transport Workers Union (TWU), Association of Flight Attendants (AFA-CWA), the Aviation Technician Education Council (ATEC), National Air Transportation Association (NATA), Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU), Truckload Carriers Association (TCA), Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA), Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA) and the Helicopter Association International (HAI).

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