Lt. Gov. Austin Davis Launches Aerospace Day at the State Capitol

Harrisburg, PA – Lt. Gov. Austin Davis joined representatives from the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry and Keystone Space Collaborative, as well as students from Spring Grove Area High School’s rocketry team, to kick off the first-ever Aerospace Day at the Capitol to highlight the opportunities in the aerospace and aviation industries in Pennsylvania.

“While Florida and Texas may get all of the attention for having big NASA centers, it’s important for young people in Pennsylvania to know that they can pursue their aerospace dreams right here in the Commonwealth,” said Davis. “That’s why we’re so excited to host Aerospace Day at the Capitol with Spring Grove Area High School’s rocketry team. We’re thrilled to show off what they can do, and we’re encouraging other young people, especially young women, to check out STEM careers.”

Davis serves as chair of the Pennsylvania chapter of the Aerospace States Association (ASA), which is an organization of state lieutenant governors, governor appointed delegates, state legislators, territorial and tribal government representatives and associate members from aerospace businesses, organizations and academia. ASA brings together aviation and aerospace interests across each state to educate state legislators on issues specific to their state and provide networking opportunities to grow jobs and expand economic development.

“The aerospace industry is growing right here in Pennsylvania thanks to large, impactful companies, innovative new startups, and research and development by our academic institutions, all doing work that moves us forward on the national stage,” said Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) Secretary Rick Siger. “Governor Shapiro, Lieutenant Governor Davis and I share the same focus on advancing this important sector and the opportunity and jobs it is creating all across Pennsylvania.”

"Innovation is key to unlocking the economic opportunities of tomorrow, and Pennsylvania's robust and rapidly growing aerospace and aviation industries affords us the unique opportunity to be a keystone of innovation,” said Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry President and CEO Luke Bernstein. “From large manufacturing companies to small supply chain businesses and the thousands of jobs supported, aerospace and aviation is a critical ecosystem in Pennsylvania poised for significant growth. Unleashing the potential of the aerospace and aviation industries is critical to Pennsylvania realizing its full economic potential. As the statewide voice of business, we are grateful to partner with Lieutenant Governor Davis to highlight the outstanding work being done by Pennsylvania employers and education leaders to support and highlight our burgeoning aerospace and aviation industries."

At today’s news conference, Davis unveiled a new ASA report that finds the aerospace vehicle and defense industry supports nearly 13,000 initial jobs and more than 23,000 downstream jobs in Pennsylvania. The gross regional product for the industry in Pennsylvania is $3.4 billion, and the estimated total annual tax revenue is $185 million.

“We are so proud to be a part of this event to emphasize the great importance and potential of the aerospace industry to people from across the entire state,” said Keystone Space Collaborative Co-Founder and Board Chair Justine Kasznica. “The Collaborative is focused on forming pipelines for success in aerospace related fields from education and career paths, to creating partnerships and innovation across a variety of both startup and well-established companies in the region. Highlighting the opportunities for everyone in these industries with Aerospace Day is a great step in making space more accessible to all."

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration supports 1,870 jobs in Pennsylvania, and there have been 18 NASA astronauts from Pennsylvania.

At the conclusion of the event, students from Spring Grove Area High School’s rocketry team, which is one of 100 national finalists in the upcoming American Rocketry Challenge, launched a rocket 200 feet into the air.

Media Contacts

Kirstin Alvanitakis

Communications Director
Lt. Governor's Office Media