The Milwaukee Bucks will host an event this fall aimed at connecting students with Wisconsin's aerospace industry. More than 150 high school and college students from 28 schools will convene at the BMO Harris Bradley Center for the first-ever "Aerospace Jam," where they will be able to engage with companies in Wisconsin’s aerospace industry. The Bucks are partnering with the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, Wisconsin Aerospace Partners, Greater Oshkosh Economic Development Corporation and the NASA Wisconsin Space Grant Consortium on the half-day event. It will be held before a Bucks game in October or November. The date and time are expected to be announced soon. Wisconsin companies that serve the aerospace industry and representatives of state colleges and universities will be on hand to talk to students about career opportunities in the industry. Wisconsin’s aviation and aerospace industry employs more than 24,000 people and generates nearly $7 billion in annual economic activity, according to a news release. The state is home to more than 300 companies with ties to the aerospace sector, including more than 140 suppliers to Boeing.
The event will give high school students the opportunity to research colleges that offer degrees in STEM-related disciplines and college students the opportunity to interact with representatives from companies in the aerospace industry.
“Wisconsin is positioned to support the success of aerospace-based companies and the next generation of young people who want to pursue careers in STEM-related fields,” said Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch, who is vice chair of the Aerospace States Association, an organization of lieutenant governors and delegates dedicated to advancing the economic interests in the aerospace industry. “Wisconsin has over 300 companies active in this industry, and a new partnership that connects them to one another and our universities. Now we need a talent pipeline that keeps pace with this growth, and these students will be the dreamers and doers who make the machines that carry us to the skies.”The Wisconsin Aerospace Partners, an Oshkosh-based organization, is aimed at growing the economic vitality of the state’s aerospace industry.“The Aerospace Jam is an excellent opportunity for Wisconsin aerospace manufacturers and suppliers to proactively connect with the best and brightest students in the state,” said Meredith Jaeger, co-founder of AeroInnovate, an aerospace networking and consulting organization that conceived the Wisconsin Aerospace Partners program. “This event is a proactive approach to addressing one of the greatest need gaps our aerospace companies in Wisconsin are facing today: finding qualified talent.”The NASA Wisconsin Space Grant Consortium, based at Carthage College in Kenosha, is a part of the national network of Space Grant Consortia funded by NASA’s National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program. Kevin Crosby, director of the Wisconsin Space Grant Consortium, said the event will help grow an awareness of the in-state opportunities available to graduates with STEM degrees. “This exciting event will demonstrate to our top students that they can pursue a career in aerospace without having to leave the state after finishing school,” Crosby said.