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  ***Space Col Module*** Plan Text: The United States federal government should increase its economic engagement toward Mexico through higher education joint-degree programs.  Adv 1  –  Engineering American aerospace companies are setting up shop in Mexico and filling future  jobs will be a struggle as growth continues Guidi 11   [Ruxandra, decade of experience with dozens of news magazines reporting on Mexico and the U.S.-Mexico border region, reporter and producer for NPR's Latino USA, Journalism Masters UC Berkeley. September 28, 2011 “Border Business: Aerospace As A Binational Industry” //JHJ] “The fact is that a lot of the factories , whether they produce medical devices, aerospace, or electronics; they are built in such a way these days, and they’re managed in such a way, that they can be put anywhere on the planet,” Morris said. “ But they’re coming to Mexico. ” ¶   According to Mexico’s Trade Ministry, more than 50   aerospace and defense   companies have started operations in Baja in the last five to 10 years.   Most of them are   American and manufacture parts for companies  like Honeywell, Goodrich and Gulfstream. ¶  They produce a wide variety of items, from electronic components, air conditioning systems, and cable harnesses, to steel bolts for commercial and military aircraft.   Their advantage is the proximity to the United States and to Western ports that ship to the Asian markets. They have access to a large, high-tech workforce in Tijuana, made up of engineers, technicians and software developers. ¶  But the main reason the companies come to Baja is simple:   The cost of that highly skilled labor is low —  about one-third of what it is in the U.S . ¶  Currently, the Baja aerospace industry employs more than 10,000 machine operators and technicians. And that number has been growing steadily since 2007, when Mexico dropped import duties on aeronautics components. According to Mexico’s Trade Ministr y, between 2007 and 2008, the   amount of aerospace companies with operations in the Mexican border state   grew by 50 percent . ¶  COBHAM, a global company producing advance defense systems with some operations in San Diego, made the move to Tijuana in 1997. ¶  On a recent day, about 50 workers dressed in royal blue overalls sat in groups of five. They were looking into microscopes and holding tiny tweezers as they assembled parts. Their building, a nondescript brick structure, is just 15 miles south of the U.S.-Mexico border. ¶   Over here we do the tuning and testing of the product, said plant manager Javier Urquizo, as he gave a brief tour of the plant. After we finalize the assembly, we need to tweak around some components to get the electrical responses required on the different frequencies.” ¶  Urquizo said he could not say exactly what those parts were made for. That is classified information, he said. ¶  The manager did explain that the company must regularly apply for a special license from the U.S. Department of State in order to build those parts in Mexico. It is to ensure the raw materials, parts and technology do not end up in the wrong hands. Once they receive those licenses, COBHAM is authorized to ship materials from the U.S. to Mexico and then back again to the U.S. as a final product. ¶  Teresa Jesus Rio Ramos is a production supervisor at COBHAM and has worked at the factory for 15 years. The aerospace and defense industry in Tijuana offers the most stable and best paying jobs in this city, she said. Her salary is about $1,800 U.S. a month. ¶   I think our company is pretty financially stable, said Rio Ramos. I don’t have to worry from month -to-month whether I will have a job or not. But that is not true for all maquilas in Tijuana. People get fired and rehired elsewh ere all the time.” ¶  But as more American aerospace and defense companies shift manufacturing to Baja California, are Americans losing jobs? Not really , said 30-year industry veteran John Riley. ¶  There are still 130,000 people across California employed by aerospace suppliers, which is down some 40 percent since the mid-1990s. Since then, it has remained static. On the other hand,   Mexico’s  aerospace industry has been adding many new jobs in recent years . ¶   The private sector has to tell government and academia what our needs are and how they can help, said Riley, pointing out that   the real challenge will be finding enough people to fill future jobs as the industry continues to grow. ¶   We need to get involved, especially in aerospace, because some of these things tak e five, 10, 15 years for people and industry to really get good at it,”  he said. ¶  As a long-time champion of a cross- border aerospace industry, Riley has always argued that people should start looking at Baja’s success in manufacturing as a benefit to San Diego. A lot of those same workers who are earning money in Tijuana are bringing products into the U.S. for packaging and for sale, he said. They are also spending money on products and services on the U.S. side of border. Perception of university educated students in STEM fields is uniquely key to investment that sustains the industry Offshore Group 12 [The Offshore Group, largest private sector employer in the state of Sonora, the company is the largest and most comprehensive provider of Mexico outsourcing solutions 6/29/12 “Metromatematicas and Mexico Aerospace Workforce Training for The Future” // JHJ] Over the past ten years, the   aerospace manufacturing industry has made significant investments in   Mexico — finding the country appealing for its increasingly unique workforce, competitive   wages, and the backing from the Mexican government for industry growth. ¶  A growing number of the manufacturers in Guaymas, Sonora are foreign-based aerospace companies involved in the production of parts for civilian aircraft. In  fact, the entire country has become a hot spot for aerospace industry growth. The Sonoran state of Mexico has found itself quickly becoming one of the primary centers for complex aerospace machining in the country since such companies began opening plants in the a bit over a decade ago. ¶   While the aerospace production occurs in 16 of Mexico’s states, the main geographic locations where clusters of aerospace assembly plants are present are Sonora, Baja California, Chihuahua, Nuevo Leon, and Queretaro. Many U.S. companies were met by trained and enthusiastic potential-employees. The aerospace industry in Mexico, can only   be sustained, however, if there is a qualified, growing pool of workers with the appropriate   skill sets to fill industry positions.   Key players are helping its development, desired infrastructure is in place or being created   and successful education and training programs are building a skilled work force.   Mexico’s aerospace industry is ready to take off. ¶  Today in Guaymas alone these operations employ over 1,500 people. But moving manufacturing and other parts of aerospace parts production to Mexico have also brought up new issues regarding the adequate training and skills needed by Mexican workers.   Finding promptly accessible skilled and experienced labor (machinists, machine operators, and qualified aerospace manufacturing and quality engineers)   has been a challenge for those searching for such explicit skills. The skills required in potential employees are hard to find anywhere in the world, let alone in what is generally considered a developing country. ¶   The   increase in the demand for educated laborers with specific academic backgrounds has made it clear to the business, government and educational community in Guaymas, Sonora   that specialized training and   education needed to be intensified and encouraged from middle school on in order to   continue growing its aerospace industry manufacturing base . ¶  CURRENT MEXICAN EDUCATION SYSTEM: ¶   Mexico’s education configuration consists of three levels: primary, secondary, and higher education. The federal government i s involved at the first level since it is obligatory by law. Participation at the higher levels is essentially focused on stipulation and endowment. ¶  Although government spending is higher than the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) average, there is much room for improvement in performance on education al testing conducted by the organization . ¶  Metromatemáticas ¶  In 2009, Nahum Correa So, a metrology equipment business owner, had the idea that by   engrossing students in real-life and current highly relatable applications of math in certain industries like aerospace, the student   would in turn more clearly picture his or her life   working as an operator, machinist, or maybe even an aerospace engineer. As such students would be self-motivated to learn and apply themselves more diligently. ¶  Working consistently with on the idea, three years later, Guaymas had three middle schools in which a classroom was transformed into a lab that has Mitutoyo work benches, state of the art metrology gear and devices, a program that is specially designed to teach applied mathematics to existent products and real life problems that occur in the aerospace and precision metals industry. In this professional environment, all the students wear white lab coats. ¶  The pupils that attend this class are chosen based on a well-defined criterion and their teachers have been certified to an international standard to teach the subject matter. This program is called Metromatemáticas. ¶  Program Results: ¶  Today 140 teachers in the region have been trained to teach Metromatemáticas —four of Guaymas’ public middle schools have a lab with enthusiastic students. The best of these have access to a more extensi vely equipped laboratory that is located in the training center of The Offshore Group’s Roca Fuerte Industrial Park. ¶  In addition to being better situated to find employment within their community, the knowledge they gained in the Metromatemáticas program will position them well to receive better compensation should they enter the workforce, and scholarships or specialized training should they decide to pursue higher education. ¶     For employers, knowing that capable workers are within   reach with respect to their industry and needs motivates them to include these communities   in their plans for future growth and investment . ¶   A decade from now, Mexico will be one of the top five aerospace industry suppliers on a global scale. ¶   That’s the prediction of Gale Thompson, vice president of International Operations with the Tucson, Arizona - based Offshore Group. And it’s no off  -the-cuff rem ark from a man who has had extensive exposure to Mexico’s maquiladora industry during the past four decades. ¶   “When you look back 10 to 12 years ago, there was very little manufacturing of aerospace products in the maquiladora industry,” Thompson notes. “T here have always been MRO, or manufacture-and-repair operations, for aircraft flying into Mexico. ¶   “But now, after attending many conferences and speaking with many aerospace executives, I know from first -hand experience that Mexico is rapidly becoming one of the largest suppliers in the world for manufactured aerospace parts.” ¶  An early indicator for Thompson that aerospace manufacturing in Mexico would be big business came in 1999, when General Electric (GE) was encouraging suppliers to open Mexican manufacturing facilities. One of these suppliers  –  after being told his GE contract would be pulled if he didn’t follow suit –  came to Thompson to discuss options. ¶   “I visited with (the supplier) in March of 1999,” Thompson recalls. “In May of 1999, they shipped their first machined products to General Electric from Mexico.” ¶   Historically, the Offshore Group’s Mexico Shelter Plan   has provided outsourced manufacturing support to assembly operations requiring many employees, such as an automotive plant. ¶   “Aerospace is not a high -headcount industry in Mexico, so there was a bit of a conflict between that and the shelter-company-in-Mexico business model at that time,” Thompson explains. “It was kind of interesting because, when I began talking aerospace with colleagues in the industry, they said: ‘Wait a minute. This is not a high- headcount manufacturing industry and (it) really doesn’t require a lot of personnel, so why w ould you pursue aerospace as a company offering shelter services in Mexico?’” ¶  That question seems to be answering itself. Following passage of the Bilateral Aviation Safety Agreement (BASA) in 2007, products manufactured in Mexico could be sent directly to the customer, enhancing manufacturing cost-effectiveness. And smaller, less complex functions that began with making wire harnessing opened the door for more sophisticated operations such as aerospace investment castings; metal finishing, coating and plating processes; heat treating; and aerospace machining in Mexico. ¶  It also appears Thompson’s “top five” prediction is within reach. By the middle of last year, 260 manufacturing facilities in Mexico were producing parts for the global aviation industry  –  nearly quadruple the amount of facilities present in 2004 . (In Chihuahua City alone, 36 aerospace plants have opened between 2007 and now.) The number of   Mexican manufacturing facilities is expected to surpass 300 by next year, with predictions of more than 350 facilities in operation by 2015 . Conservatively speaking, that means the 30,000 j   obs now  available in the industry will expand to  42,000. ¶  Though many secondary operations are available in Mexico, there are still “many more opportunities for further secondary operations shops to offer their services in the growing aerospace manufacturing market,” Thompson affirms. ¶   “As they are becoming available, larger companies are putting more pressure on their suppliers to do more of their work in Mexico,” he con cludes. ¶  What is Necessary to be an Aerospace Engineer? ¶   As   an aerospace engineer one needs to be interested in applied sciences such as physics and math. An interest in mechanics, electrical systems, computers and design is also necessary. Both analytical and creative   skills are essential. ¶  The learning curve for producing aircraft parts is   long and expensive, and manufacturing success depends largely on the quality of the work   force. Mexico is in the process of aligning its educational system with the needs of the aerospace industry as it has done with the automotive industry in the past. ¶  Businesses such as The Offshore Group are collaborating with educational institutions, local and state governments, and private industry to encourage the acquisition of knowledge sooner and more in-depth. This motivates young people to stay in school and work hard to achieve a career that they can envision in a thriving Mexican aerospace industry. The Metromaticás program is something that should be held up as an example of how education can successfully prepare students for good paying jobs. The success and benefits of efforts such as these can be seen in the continuing growth of a middle class in Mexico. ¶  Foreign direct investment in Mexico produces a win  –  win —  for both the foreign businesses that are finding a variety of labor at a low price, but also for Mexico as a country as it increases the education rate, ascends the employment opportunities, and improves the Mexican economy. Mexico has massive amounts of willing STEM students, and its the only geographic location for companies to meet the international pressures of the industry Johnson 12   [Tim, McClatchy DC Newspapers: Watching Washington and the Rest of the World. Bureaus in D.C., award winning and reporting for 2 centuries, 40 journalists are part of the wider McClatchy family of news men and women who work in 15 states, 30 communities and on four continents. 7/18/12 “Mexico takes flight as hub for aerospace industry” -takes-flight-as-hub-for.html // JHJ] Mexico has an edge in human capital. On a per capita basis, it graduates three times more engineers than the United States.   Some   30 percent of Mexico’s 745,000 university students   are enrolled in engineering and technology fields , and 114,000 of them graduate yearly. Technicians,   though, often have to be trained in-house in specialized processes even after receiving training   elsewhere . ¶  So far, industries with operations in Mexico have focused on assembly of   aircraft structures, precision machining, overhauling engines and landing gear, laying out of electrical systems, and assembly of composite components . ¶   “There are companies like Zodiac in Baja California that are putting together interiors of aircraft using composites,” said Manuel Sandoval Rios of ProMexico, a trade   promotion agency. “We are moving into complex materials such as carbon.” ¶  Currently, Mexico’s aerospace sector employs 31,000 workers.   The goal is to have 110,000 jobs in aerospace by 2020 , Sandoval said. ¶  That compares with some 335,000 jobs in auto manufacturing and auto parts. ¶  As the aerospace sector expands, authorities hope to expand the number of foreign and local companies that provide parts. Only a few Mexican companies now manufacture key components. ¶   “   The challenge now , just as it once was in the automotive sector, is to ramp up the supply chain and, when possible, develop national suppliers ,” Sandoval said. ¶   Authorities encourage Mexican companies to work with specialized metals, like titanium and molybdenum, and develop thermal coatings for aircraft parts . ¶  In some cases, auto parts firms made a transition. One of those is Grupo Kuo of Mexico City, only three hours to the south of here. ¶   “ They make auto transmissions, and they did the design for the Corvette transmission. What we helped them do is create a specialized ae rospace division . . . that has grown rapidly and supplies both Safran and Eaton,” Sandoval said. ¶  The Canadian firm Bombardier, the No. 3 civilian aircraft manufacturer in the world behind Boeing and Airbus, has grown its Mexico operations rapidly. After a worldwide search, it chose Queretaro in 2006 because of its location, low cost of labor and the industrial capabilities of Mexico. ¶   “The time zone was also very important,” said Real Gervais, who until his retirement earlier this month was vice president of Bombardier Aerospace’s Mexico operations. Queretaro is in the central time zone, making its workday coincide with those of    Bombardier’s other key operations in Wichita, Montreal and Toronto. “If you have an issue, you don’t have a 12 - or 14-hour time d ifference,” he said. ¶  Since breaking ground on a cactus-strewn lot next to the Queretaro airport, Bombardier’s operations have mushroomed, now employing 1,800 people. ¶   “ We cover everything from the lower end of business aircraft to high-end Learjets and on to the Challenger ,” Gervais said. ¶   Bombardier’s production in Mexico includes flight-control components such as rudders, stabilizers and elevators as well as wings and electrical wiring. It now builds major portions of fuselages for its Global business jet line here. By next year, the state-of-the-art Learjet 85 composite aircraft, including its wings, will come out of a plant here before being shipped to Wichita for final assembly and testing. ¶   “Thirty percent of the total Learjet 85 will be put together in Queretaro,” Gervais said. “Some wing panels are being brought from Belfast.” ¶  Bombardier ramped up quickly because it forecast a steady growth in the appetite for business jets around the world. ¶  
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