CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – Sept. 24 was the 8th Annual Girls In Aviation Day all over the world and the very first North Central West Virginia Girls in Aviation Day.

The event was held at the Robert C. Byrd National Aerospace Education Center, where more than 15 aerospace partners and businesses have come together to talk about aviation to young women.

Here is some of the businesses and aerospace partners that were at this event:

  • North Central West Virginia Airport
  • Aurora Flight Sciences – a Boeing Company
  • MHIRJ Aviation
  • Pratt Whitney
  • The Thrasher Group
  • EMS
  • EASW
  • HQ Aero
  • Civil Air Patrol
  • Katherine Johnson NASA IV&V Education Resource Center
  • Fairmont State University
  • Pierpont Technical College
  • WV National Guard
  • West Virginia University

“Less than 5% of all pilots are women and less than 3% of aircraft technicians are women, just having more women in these jobs would help fix a national workforce issue,” said Tracy Miller, president of Mid-Atlantic Aerospace Complex.

The entire day was designed to show girls that they can do anything and show off the fast-growing aviation industry in West Virginia.

Additionally, the event had several on site activities that were available, flight simulators, static displays of aircraft, aviation photo booth, drones and much more.

Miller talked about how happy she is that West Virginia has more things to add to the menu besides, coal, oil and gas.

“It’s not all about coal, oil or gas. In North Central West Virginia, we have so many choices, and to know we are adding aviation to the choices for all of our children, all of the training and all of the jobs are right here. So if we want to keep our kids here, it is a wonderful thing for parents to think about,” said Miller.

Miller hopes that days like this can get more women interested in aviation and thinks North Central West Virginia has a bright future.

Event organizers said that the event was a huge success, and they are already planning for the event again next year.

Girls in Aviation Day was started by the Women in Aviation International Organization in 2015 and is celebrated every year on Sept. 24.