Astronauts and industry launch ‘Workforce Weekend’ at Paris Airshow

At next month's International Paris Airshow, the highly anticipated exhibition of aerospace technology, engineering, and innovation will also highlight the industry's dire workforce shortages.

To encourage and inspire future generations to pursue careers in aviation and aerospace, Kallman Worldwide, organiser of the USA national presence at Le Bourget for the past 28 years, has announced plans to host the show's first-ever ‘Workforce Weekend’, a STEM-focused classrooms-through-careers fair on-site during the show's public days.

The Paris Airshow, last held in 2019, will be open to trade visitors only for the first four days, then to students and public visitors from Friday 23 to Sunday 25 June. For the weekend, Kallman will transform the 6,000-plus sqm USA Partnership Pavilion in Hall 3 into ‘Spaceport USA’, a space-themed, interactive showcase of immersive activities, engineering innovations, and technology demonstrations to engage and educate visitors of all ages.

Highlights will include personal appearances on Saturday 25 June by Apollo 16 Lunar Module Pilot  Brigadier General Charles ‘Charlie’ Duke, and Space Shuttle Commander Michael Bloomfield who will share his experiences from three space shuttle missions, including work on assembling the International Space Station. 

“I’m looking forward to visiting the Paris Airshow with Team USA,” said Duke. “Participating in Workforce Weekend gives those of us with aerospace experience the opportunity to talk about the importance of international collaboration in the aerospace sector and the satisfaction that comes with an aerospace-related career. By sharing insights I have picked up over the years, I hope to inspire future generations of explorers, engineers, and pioneers.”

Workforce Weekend Content Partner, the US Space and Rocket Centre in Huntsville, AL, will provide and staff many Spaceport attractions, including a specially commissioned planetarium depicting the surface of the moon where Duke walked during his Apollo mission, a ‘Quidditch-like’ drone football pitch, paper airplane making and test flying, and Star Wheels for identifying constellations.

“Team USA is heavily invested in the launch of Workforce Weekend this June,” said Tom Kallman, president and CEO of organizing company Kallman Worldwide. “Our commitment to the future generation workforce has never been stronger, and we are excited to deliver what we know will be an entertaining and memorable experience for visiting students and public. Our goal is to have Spaceport USA visitors leave inspired to actively pursue careers in aerospace.”

There are still opportunities for industry stakeholders and workforce advocates to participate in Spaceport USA as patrons and presenters during Workforce Weekend at the 2023 Paris Airshow.

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