Washington Losing Aerospace Business and Clout? — Aerospace Industry Investment, Part I

Aerospace is and has long been a significant portion of the State of Washington’s economy. The Washington Aerospace Partnership takes it even a step further, stating: “aerospace is vital to Washington’s economy.”

The Washington Aerospace Partnership (http://www.washington-aerospace.com/) is but one of several state organizations leading the effort “to keep Washington the leading location for aerospace.” Other notable proponents include: the Aerospace Futures Alliance (AFA; http://www.afa-wa.com/) and the Washington Council on Aerospace (WCA).

The AFA represents aerospace companies in advocating on critical issues for the aerospace industry. The WCA, on the other hand, coordinates and organizes the work of the Washington State Government in workforce training, research and development, and business recruitment, retention, and expansion.

“Washington’s competitive advantage in aerospace is weakening,” reveals the WCA in its report to the governor and legislature dated January 1, 2010. “Washington has not been competitive for several recent high-profile aerospace investments, including the Honda Jet program (North Carolina), the Bombardier C-Series (Quebec), a Rolls Royce engine plant (Virginia), a new Spirit Aerosystems facility (North Carolina), the Global Aeronautica joint venture (South Carolina), and most recently, the second line for the 787.

“Against our competitor states and provinces, we are at a disadvantage in areas of incentives offered, R&D expenditures, and labor costs,” the WCA continues in its report. “Our aerospace labor force is aging, and our education and training system is not meeting current and future industry needs.”

Washington's aerospace industry

Washington's aerospace industry

The aerospace industry in general has steadily been renewing its focus on education and training. The goal is not only to advance the capabilities of the current workforce, but also to attract new talent by encouraging students to work on all things aerospace. This geek was enticed to enter the military and aerospace (mil/aero) industry decades ago. With the promise of inventing or working on sexy, cool, new spacecraft and aircraft platforms, systems, and technologies, who wouldn’t consider it?

Post Author

Posted May 24th, 2011, by

Post Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Post Comments

1 Comment

About J. VanDomelen Mil/Aero Blog

J. VanDomelen holds a Bachelor of Science in Information Systems and myriad certifications from Microsoft, Cisco, and CompTia in varying facets of computer software, hardware, and network design and implementation. He has worked in the electronics industry for more than 12 years in varied fields, including advanced systems design of highly technical military and aerospace computer systems, semiconductor manufacturing, open source software development, hardware design, and rapid prototyping. J. VanDomelen Mil/Aero Blog

@JLVanDo tweets

Follow JLVanDo


One comment on this post | ↓ Add Your Own

[...] Washington Governor Chris Gregoire has dedicated Workforce Investment funding, to the tune of $3 million, to bolster Washington State’s aerospace market. [...]

Add Your Comment