FIGURE 3.1 The aerospace workforce ecosystem.

that significantly different time horizons dominate their planning and activity. Recognition of these differences is essential to an informed discussion of the aerospace workforce for any element in the aerospace ecosystem.

The aerospace workforce ecosystem must also be viewed in the context of various externalities. These could include federal policies relative to International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), legislative funding changes as well as shifts in administration policies regarding civilian space priorities, and opportunities presented by other agencies such as NSF with significant funding targeted for university programs. Despite evidence that the number of foreign students enrolled in U.S. universities has not diminished substantially in recent years, ITAR has affected the availability of these students for involvement in certain elements of the aerospace ecosystem.

It is apparent to the committee that a broad perspective is the best one from which to assess and address NASA’s workforce issues. This does not in any way diminish the value of key training and hiring for the future, but those activities should also be informed by what is taking place in the broader national aerospace workforce.

The committee notes that the national space policy released by the White House in early October 2006 also emphasized the importance of a skilled workforce for the overall U.S. space effort, stating: “Sustained excellence in space-related science, engineering, acquisition, and operational disciplines is vital to the future of U.S. space capabilities. Departments and agencies that conduct space related activities shall establish standards and imple-



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