Vaughn College President Addresses US House of Representatives

Vaughn College President Dr. Sharon B. DeVivo was in Washington, DC this week to speak to the US House of Representatives’ aviation subcommittee about the growing need for pilots and aviation maintenance professionals, and to advocate for increased government education funding to help more students achieve their goals.

Dr. DeVivo.B

On Tuesday, February 11, Dr. Sharon B. DeVivo, President of Vaughn College, along with a panel of other educators and industry representatives, visited Washington, DC to address the aviation subcommittee of the US House of Representatives. The purpose of this session was to determine the future of American’s aviation and manufacturing workforce―and how to meet the increasing demand for pilots and maintenance technicians in this industry.

Because of this demand, Dr. DeVivo emphasized the need for additional federal education funding for students to ensure that they can achieve their goals―as well as fill the high-demand roles in aviation . Vaughn College, as Dr. DeVivo pointed out, serves a population of approximately 1,650 students in a variety of degree programs―650 in aviation maintenance, 300 in flight and airline/airport management and 300 in engineering.

One feature Dr. DeVivo strongly emphasized was the broad diversity that differentiates Vaughn College  and how interested students―male and female, American and those from other countries―deserve the opportunity to pursue a successful career in an industry that needs a diverse talent pool. As she stated: “Right now, the United States will not produce enough qualified talent to meet the demand, which is why we must expand the existing pipeline to include opportunities for underserved populations, especially minorities and women, who have not been exposed to these fields.” Dr. DeVivo believes one plan of action for consideration is to create greater awareness of aviation and related STEM fields to the elementary and middle school levels. “Waiting until high school is just too late,” she believes.

With a history of nearly 90 years of providing pathways to successful careers, Vaughn College was able to provide the House subcommittee with thoughtful examples to both expand and diversify the workforce. Dr. DeVivo emphasized the work that Vaughn College is doing to truly partner with students and families on affordability and career outcomes. “There is a reason why we tell students and families that we provide a ‘futureproof education—guaranteed’ and it is because we have the data to show that our graduates are successful within one year as well as 15 years later. This is the evidence of the transformative power of a Vaughn education.”