Antonio Velázquez
Managing Director
Queretaro Aerocluster
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View from the Top

Local Talent to Boost Aerospace Sector

By Sofía Hanna | Tue, 03/22/2022 - 08:49

Q: What are the cluster’s growth objectives and what alliances are necessary to reach them?

 A: Industry growth will require collaboration between all entities, including clusters. Since 2021, we have been working on a strong, aggressive program that is focused on helping our members to grow, especially SMEs. The first pillar of this program was diversifying our market participation by helping our companies enter other industries to get acquainted with new technologies and processes. The second pillar was to enhance the capabilities of our members so they could supply North American markets. The third pillar was to support local talent through training courses, programs and collaborations with educational institutions.

 

Q:  How have you managed to reduce employee turnover?

 A: The industry has been facing significant challenges when it comes to talent turnover. The cluster helps its members to identify their main problems regarding talent retention so they can fix them and retain their workforce. We have been launching various initiatives to better understand the needs of companies in terms of talent and to try to provide it.

 

The pandemic greatly impacted employment but we are seeing a strong recovery this year. We have another initiative for repurposing talent, in which former employees can register and access job opportunities in the sector. We also maintain communication with educational institutions to keep them informed about what companies need in terms of talent.

 

Q: What sustainability initiatives is the cluster supporting?

 A: Queretaro implemented a new law related to the circular economy that will help the industry be greener by transforming residue management and the use of energy. The state has made a strong effort to turn the industry green and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The cluster supports the circular economy training program, in which several companies build networks of circular processes. Through the cluster and the new law, we will be more efficient and greener as a state.  

 

Q: How does the cluster use technology to further develop the industry in Queretaro?

 A: Technology is transforming the way we do business. Several companies have already implemented advanced technologies that belong to the Industry 4.0 movement. This transformation has been taking place for the past five years. The global aerospace industry has always been innovative and local SMEs have been working with larger companies that use advanced technology, sharing knowledge and processes.

 

Queretaro has several groups that are focused on smart cities, Industry 4.0, security and surveillance to benefit companies and verticals in the sector and to smooth the road toward a technological future.

 

Q: How has the cluster collaborated with OEMs to heighten the visibility of Mexican products and help make them the first choice for manufacturing?

 A: One of our key activities as a cluster is to bring large and small companies closer by studying the requirements of international suppliers and sharing them with local SMEs to see if the latter are able to provide such products or services. Before the pandemic, we participated in international events so the state had representation with governments, international airports and other clusters. We also have a memorandum of understanding with some clusters around the globe, helping us to share information and capabilities. We are well connected with the local ecosystem and groups from all over the world, with which we provide more opportunities to local companies.

 

Q: What factors make Mexico a valuable aerospace supplier?

 A:  The country is close to North America, which has been a key factor. This proximity enables companies to establish operations here and supply the North American market. The country also has well-trained personnel with a great attitude toward work. The main asset is Mexico’s young population, which has energy, creativity and a valuable set of skills. The final asset is the government's support for the Mexican aerospace sector.

 

Queretaro Aerocluster promotes and consolidates the aerospace industry of the state, helping it to become more competitive in the national and international arenas.

Sofía Hanna Sofía Hanna Journalist and Industry Analyst