CLEVELAND — Hundreds gathered at NASA’s Glenn Research Center Wednesday as part of the Ohio Space Forum, a chance to collaborate and work toward growing Ohio’s aerospace involvement.
The event, organized by the Dayton Development Coalition, featured speakers from NASA, prominent colleges and businesses, as well as other experts in the field of space and aviation.
Wednesday marked the third time the event has occurred, however it was the first inperson forum due to the pandemic.
Among those in attendance was keynote speaker Col. Pamela Melroy, deputy administrator at NASA, who emphasized the importance of growing the aerospace sector here in Ohio as the industry continues to evolve.
“The real change we’re seeing is commercial activities in space,” she explained.
Melroy added that NASA’s presence in Ohio helped create nearly 9,000 jobs and according to its most recent economic impact study, injected $2.3 billion into the state in a fiscal year.
Just to give you a better idea of the work being done here in Ohio, Melroy said 62 companies are providing support for Artemis, NASA’s program to return to the moon, which is slated to launch its uncrewed mission in August.
“So many companies are creating critical pieces of our architecture, involved at every level, from the ground systems to the big rocket to the Orion spacecraft,” Melroy added. “That means pieces of Ohio will be going to the moon later this year when we launch.”
Join the virtual voyage of @BoeingSpace's #Starliner on OFT-2, the test flight to the @Space_Station that will help qualify it as our newest human-rated spacecraft!— NASA (@NASA) May 16, 2022
Watch live as Starliner lifts off, scheduled for 6:54pm ET (22:54 UTC) Thursday, May 19: https://t.co/mrqAEGJa99 pic.twitter.com/ssAcLamlNE
The event comes one day before a Boeing Starliner launch scheduled for Thursday, and just hours after a SpaceX launch earlier in the day at Kennedy Space Center.
Liftoff! pic.twitter.com/8NrcVRbELe— SpaceX (@SpaceX) May 18, 2022
Data from Morgan Stanley suggests the global space industry, currently at $350 billion in revenue, could soar to new heights of more than $1 trillion by 2040.
“There’s an enormous economic opportunity as space is further developed both for applications here on earth but for applications as well that are outside our planet,” Baiju Shah, President & CEO of Greater Cleveland Partnership explained.
Going forward, those at the event reiterated a major focus in keeping Ohio in this space spotlight would be continuing to build their pipeline of workers, and not just in S.T.E.M. based jobs.
“It’s not just about our engineers, it’s about our skilled workforce,” Mulroy said. “There’s a massive war going on among our aerospace contractors for a skilled workforce. We need to be looking holistically at our community.”
“We need to continue proving out we have the right kind of talent and we can attract that kind of talent to Ohio," Kristi Clouse, senior managing director for talent at JobsOhio, said.