Virginia Tech’s College of Engineering has been named as the No. 1 U.S. school for industry workforce recruiting by “Aviation Week & Space Technology” magazine.

The 2009 ranking is a first for the College of Engineering in “Aviation Week’s” annual Workforce Study of Aviation and Defense industries. In recent years, Virginia Tech ranked either No. 2 (2007) or No. 3 (2008), behind Penn State, Purdue University, and University of Illinois. This year, Virginia Tech outranks Penn State, Purdue and California Polytechnic University, each tied for second place.

“Organizations provided a list of the top five schools from which they recruit; the rationale for ranking rests on three core themes: the reputation and ranking of the university; the performance of alumni from that institution within the organization; proximity of institution to the organization/job,” according to “Aviation Week’s” study.

Although the study has a focus on Virginia Tech’s aerospace and ocean engineering department, the aviation and defense industries recruit from all College of Engineering programs, said Chris Hall, who heads the aerospace and ocean unit. “This industry reputation reflects well on all of the college’s programs,” he said.

The aerospace and ocean engineering department has roughly 450 undergraduate students as of October. The College of Engineering, as a whole, boasts approximately 6,000 undergraduate students.

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