ROCHESTER, Mich. (PRESS RELEASE/WJMN) – The Aerospace Industry Association of Michigan (AIAM) is teaming up with FIRST in Michigan to offer a free and virtual event for students, parents, and companies from Michigan’s aerospace industry. The event will feature keynote speakers from NASA and six unique and engaging panels moderated by women from NASA.

FIRST robotics teams participating from the U.P. include students from Calumet High School, Kingsford High School, and Kingsford Middle School. Meredith LaBeau, Director of Process, R&D, & Manufacturing Engineering with Calumet Electronics and Audra Thurston, Process Engineer with Calumet Electronics will be panelists as well.

“I just hope they find that there’s an opportunity for them. I hope they find some connection with us that you can be anybody, anyone you want,” said LaBeau. “You can dream, and you can find yourself in an industry that’s ready to grow with you and reach for the stars. And I want to make sure they understand that there’s no barriers, anybody can do it. And to reach out, find a mentor and continue to ask questions and see where it take you. The opportunities are endless and to not let anyone stop you and to not be afraid.”

“We are pleased to have teamed up with FIRST in Michigan to offer this free event for students and families across Michigan to help get them excited about the aerospace industry,” said Tony Vernaci, AIAM Founder and President. “Michigan’s aerospace industry is full of opportunity and I’m hopeful this event will showcase what Michigan has to offer for young people wishing to enter the field.”

In our web exclusive, Vernaci goes into detail on the history of women in the aerospace industry:

Michigan has one of the most vibrant aerospace clusters in the nation with nearly 1,000 companies supporting the global industry from Michigan. This event will encourage young ladies to pursue a career in STEM.

“We are excited to offer this opportunity along with AIAM,” said Gail Alpert, Chairman and President of FIRST in Michigan. “I look forward to highlighting the inspirational work the women of aerospace are doing and helping students see that the skills they acquire while participating on a FIRST Robotics team will prepare them well for an exceptional career in aerospace or any other STEM field.”

The Women of Aerospace virtual event will take place on Saturday, May 15, 2021, at 9:00 a.m. EST. The event is free to the public and all are invited and welcome to participate. Those wishing to learn more or to register for the event can do so at