Executive: Educated workforce key to success in the skies


John Rader, a retired Marine colonel and current Boeing executive, talks about the MV-22 Osprey during the Eastern Carolina Aviation Heritage Foundation Gala Friday at the Havelock Tourist and Event Center. The event serves as a fundraiser for the organization.

Drew C. Wilson/Havelock News
Published: Wednesday, February 5, 2014 at 06:01 PM.

The V-22 Osprey is a complicated machine that took highly technical minds to design and to build.

But without workers with skills in science, technology, engineering and math, the V-22 Osprey would have never gotten off the ground.

A Boeing executive who served as a program manager for the Osprey stressed the need for a STEM-educated workforce during the annual Eastern Carolina Aviation Heritage Foundation Gala Friday in Havelock.

“I don’t care if you want to save the planet from global warming or you want to build an airplane, we need your technical expertise,” said John Rader, Boeing’s vice president of electronics and sensor solutions.

Rader, a retired Marine colonial who flew F-18 jets and served in Operation Desert Storm, said the Osprey had revolutionized the modern military. But, he said that would not have been possible without educated workers.

The aviation foundation has placed an emphasis on STEM education with a new outreach program at area schools, and Rader’s comments were on point.

“The intent is to reach the youth of today,” Rader said of several advertising campaigns by Boeing and other large aerospace companies.

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