Davidson Nzekwe-Daniel, Founder & CEO, Davidson Initiative Inc.
Growing up as a child in Nigeria, Davidson lived close to an airport, and seeing airplanes take off and land was what sparked his interest in aviation. He always wondered how airplanes fly and decided to pursue a career as an aviation professional. His passion for aviation has led him to accomplish the following academically:
– B.Eng. Mechanical Engineering, University of Benin
– M.Sc. Aerospace Engineering, Swansea University
– A.S. Aviation Maintenance Management, Broward College
– Airframe Certificate, Federal Aviation Administration
– Powerplant Certificate, Federal Aviation Administration
Davidson is passionate about providing support for students in the aviation community; equipping them with the necessary instruments that they require to achieve academic success and career development. By so doing, Davidson hopes that his effort would contribute toward building a sustainable workforce and curbing the impending industry deficiency. He is also concerned with reaching out to tomorrow’s industry professionals today through intentional STEM outreach programs designed for K-12 schools. To this end, Davidson founded a nonprofit organization with a mission that embodies his passion for the industry. As part of his effort to deliver a robust aviation industry that is sufficient in its workforce development, Davidson, through his nonprofit organization, offers free refresher courses for students in Part 147 schools to bolster their efforts in passing the FAA mechanic certification tests. A program that has proven to be successful. His STEM outreach program offers drone lessons, robotics, introduction to electromechanical systems, and other intellectually stimulating projects to inspire the younger generation to pursue aviation and other STEM careers. Davidson’s corporate affiliations are as follows:
– Engineer, GA Telesis
– Founder & CEO, Davidson Initiative Inc.
– Marketing Director, South Florida Aviation Maintenance Council (SFAMC)
Building the Next Generation of Aviation Professionals Through Student Engagement
This presentation will present the investigation of how increased student engagement through STEM and mentoring programs could be instrumental in building a robust aviation workforce for the future.
While the current industry downturn, driven by Covid-19, has resulted in a temporary oversupply of qualified personnel, the long-term need remains robust. According to the Boeing Pilot and Technician Outlook, 192,000 mechanics and 208,000 pilots would be needed in North America alone to meet the industry demand over the next two decades. This is a far cry from the current annual average. Before the pandemic, the declining completion rate from A&P school was a cause for concern. ATEC projected that only 25% of students who attend A&P school end up with their certificates.
A practicable and evidence-based approach for replenishing the diminishing workforce is to boost the completion rate of students from A&P school and guide them until they join the workforce through mentoring programs. From survey data analytics conducted during my research, 89% of students opted that they have difficulty in passing the FAA mechanic certification exams. This struggle has in effect caused a bottleneck between A&P school and the industry. Also, to ensure sustainability in workforce development, it’s important to reach out to the younger generation and spark their interest in aviation. My mentoring program has led to the certification of at least eighteen new mechanics and is being adopted by the Broward College Aviation Institute for their A&P program. My STEM program for K-12 schools has helped many youngsters to connect with their passion for aviation.
I hope to present my findings and programs at the WATS 2021 Conference; exploring statistics from credible sources and identifying those strategic areas where major stakeholders will have to plunge their resources to meet the personnel demand which is imperative to the sustenance of a robust industry.