JiET-A Program Attracts Over 100 Applicants

April 8, 2012, ROCKFORD, ILLINOIS – The Joint Institute of Engineering and Technology – Aerospace (JiET-A) is pleased to announce it has received more than 100 applicants in growing the region’s aerospace talent pipeline.  JiET-A is driven by the Rockford Area Aerospace Network (RAAN), a committee that was formed in 2010 to gain more high-paying jobs and increase business opportunities for aerospace suppliers in the area.  JiET-A is a leading coalition that launched one year ago, however started attracting students last September.  The program offers unique opportunities for students’ through the combination of academic studies and real-work experience with leading aerospace companies.

JiET-A is pleased to report its numbers after hitting the half year mark:

  • 107 student applications
  • 48 students accepted into JiET-A program
  • 20 student internships at local companies through JiET-A program
  • 2 students hired for full-time employment at local aerospace companies

JiET-A partner institutions include Northern Illinois University, Rock Valley College, Rockford College and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.  Applicants that have been hired for the JiET-A program are currently interning at local companies such as B/E Aerospace, UTC Aerospace Systems and Woodward.

“We are extremely excited to reach such an important milestone, which speaks directly to level of interest we have in support of this community-based initiative,” said Bill Kroll, JiET-A Executive Director.  “The program has really taken off and has allowed us to continue to grow our own pipeline of engineers in the region.”

One of the aerospace industry’s greatest needs is finding qualified talent during a national shortage of engineers, scientists and technicians while it forecasts more than 30,000 new airplanes to be delivered in the next 20 years.  The JiET-A program combines three components to significantly increase the pipeline: academics; real-word experience through internships, mentorships and scholarships; and employment by local aerospace companies. 

“The JiET-A program aligns our communities’ educational institutions for the benefit of our aerospace companies,” said Eric Voyles, Vice President of National Business Development for the RAEDC.  “The program develops interest in high school and then offers a combination of internships, mentorships and scholarships and widens the workforce pipeline for Rockford’s aerospace industry.”

To learn more about the JiET-A program, visit www.rockfordil.com.


The primary role of the Rockford Area Economic Development Council is to collaboratively enhance wealth creation in the Rockford Region by helping employers retain and create quality jobs while promoting the region. The RAEDC works closely with many partners to learn what existing and new employers need to grow and to serve as a one-stop resource for clients.  The RAEDC seeks to improve the competitiveness of the region by taking what it learns from the regions employers and engaging the community in the daily work of economic development to improve the competitiveness of the region. The organization was recognized by Expansion Solutions magazine with a 2012 “Top Five” award for its exceptional progress and potential for development in the Aerospace/Defense category.


RAAN (Rockford Area Aerospace Network) is a committee of the Rockford Area Economic Development Council (RAEDC) and offers a platform for collaboration among local aerospace companies and institutions that serve the industry.  RAAN serves as the forum where the Rockford region’s aerospace industry cluster development strategy is advanced on an on-going basis. RAAN is supported by the Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge and the Economic Development Administration of the Department of Commerce. The Challenge leverages existing resources from 16 federal agencies and award funds to regions that demonstrate the existence of high-growth industries that support a wide range of economic and workforce development activities.