The four-state region has a long history of leveraging assets and making strategic investments to grow the aviation, aerospace and now more recently space exploration clusters.

From military installations to NASA space facilities, from preeminent universities to technical schools, from international airports to major infrastructure corridors, the region has the assets that businesses need to mitigate risks and increase profits.

Workforce & Education

Nearly 185,000 professionals work in aerospace and defense in Alliance states, both directly and indirectly, representing a broad range of relevant careers and skills.

The region’s schools, colleges, universities, training centers and centers of excellence inspire and help develop the talent that fills industry demands. Colleges and universities in Aerospace Alliance states are among the nation’s top producers of STEM graduates, including many that specialize in targeted sectors. In addition, Alliance states are known for their strong workforce development programs, allowing rapid training that can be customized to an employer’s specific needs.

Aerospace Engineering Certificates & Degrees Awarded Annually
Exiting Military Members Annually
Employed in Aerospace & Defense

Regional Education Highlights

University of Alabama In Huntsville

The College of Engineering at the University of Alabama’s Huntsville campus includes a Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department (MAE). The university includes 16 high-tech research centers and labs responsible for close to $90 million in research expenditures and serves as the anchor tenant for the second-largest research park in the nation.

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

ERAU has the largest Aerospace Engineering program in the nation, keeping the talent pipeline full of bachelor’s, master’s and Ph.D. degree options. Adding to the capacity is the John Mica Engineering and Aerospace Innovation Complex (MicaPlex) which features engineering labs, a business incubator and flexible lease space for corporate and industry partnerships.

Louisiana Tech & LSU’s Center for Secure Cyberspace

The Center for Secure Cyberspace is a collaboration between Louisiana Tech University and Louisiana State University created to support federal, state and private sector cyberspace security needs. The Core Research Team and their students have worked on rare and event pattern detection, anomaly detection, cyber forensics, information fusion, secure information dissemination, grid computation, interactive visualization, unmanned aerial vehicles and sensor networks.

Mississippi State University

The FAA’s Center of Excellence for Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), also known as the Alliance for System Safety of UAS through Research Excellence (ASSURE), is an MSU-led coalition of 23 research universities and 100+ government and industry partners. ASSURE research has provided knowledge and results on such topics as UAS Collision Severity, Detect-and-Avoid (DAA) requirements for Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) UAS operations, UAS Certification Standards and Considerations, and even UAS Noise Measurement studies.

The Aerospace Alliance region is perfectly located, with a robust infrastructure system that provides convenient access to global markets.

The region’s extensive transportation infrastructure, including airports, deepwater ports, rail lines and interstates, is a major asset of the region and one of the key factors that makes the Alliance a hub of the aviation and aerospace industries. The region’s ideal location ensures that companies located within the corridor have a competitive advantage for importing and exporting needs. 

International Airports
Deepwater Ports
Class 1 Rail Lines
Major Interstates