Day 1 at Hannover Messe Highlights

Hannover Messe 20117 delegationAndrew Crowder, Commerce International Trade Specialist

Day one of this year’s edition of Hannover Messe, the world’s largest manufacturing trade show, is in the books.  German Chancellor Angela Merkel visited the event today, spending time in one of the three halls at the Messe devoted to energy technology.

Seven of the eight Washington companies in the delegation started their work at the Messe today; one client had business in Munich today and will join us tomorrow.

Kudos to OSI Consulting (www.osius.com) of Kirkland, for logging a full schedule that began with a 9 a.m. meeting with Microsoft, and concluded with a presentation about the Northwest Smart Grid Demonstration Project at the Messe’s Integrated Energy Forum.

Another company, Splitvane Engineers of Sumas (www.splitvane.com), was pleased to learn that a German foundry president was planning to drive 300 kilometers. to meet with them on Friday.

Our delegation is very interesting this year.  Among our delegation executives, we have three who are foreign-born, (Egypt, Germany and Ukraine) and one who is a former professional race car driver. Two companies are rural, from Colfax and Sumas. Two of our companies are relatively new University of Washington spinouts, and another continues a business that has been in the same family for more than 50 years.

With companies that touch on aspects of industrial efficiency ranging from biomass equipment, to new technology to smelt steel to consulting on smart grid, Washington is well-prepared to build its reputation as a global leader in energy and related information technology applications.

View our company directory and follow the “Choose Washington” delegation led by Commerce on social media @WAStateCommerce, @Hannover_Messe #HM17

Companies thrilled with Aircraft Interiors show experience

Three separate procurement teams meeting with Washington suppliers.
Three separate procurement teams meeting with Washington suppliers.

“Very happy.” “Productive.” “Great value.” These are just a few snippets of the glowing reviews from all of the companies participating in the Commerce-led trip to Aircraft Interiors Expo 2017 in Hamburg, Germany this week.

Assisted by our amazing team of European representatives from the UK-based TFDI, our delegation logged dozens of one-on-one and group procurement meetings as well as several exclusive opportunities and VIP visits during the four-day mission.

“Good job by the Washington State Department of Commerce (through TFDI) in arranging meetings with the right people (at companies), providing a win-win-win for the state and companies,” said Windspeed president and CEO Shakil Hussain.

Orion executives Sean Dwyer and Richard Moe said they would never have been able to meet with a senior vice president of a major tier-one supplier had we not made the trip to AIX.

Prior to opening day at AIX, most of the group visited Airbus’ main facility in Hamburg for a half-day of meetings. It was quite impressive to be greeted with a welcome message on the highway reader board. Additional meetings took place later at the show, where the Airbus procurement manager for flying components came with requests for quotes in hand.
Airbus main facitlity in Hamburg, Germany

In this our third year exhibiting at AIX, the Washington state delegation shared space with fellow members of Hanse-Aerospace, Germany’s largest association of aviation and space industry companies. Washington state is the only U.S. state member of the organization – a reflection of our global reputation as a leading aerospace manufacturing hub.

From this central spot at the show we hosted a “sold-out” slate of business prospect and VIP meetings during the event. We were also honored with an invitation to the Hamburg Senate Aircraft Interiors show reception at Lufthansa Technik’s main maintenance, repair and operations center in Hamburg.  It was a phenomenal opportunity for our companies to network with all of the leading aircraft interiors companies from Germany and other European Union countries.

More highlights of the trip included:

  • Tool Gauge, Inc. announcement of their big expansion in Tacoma, creating 50-100 news jobs over the next five years.
  • Invitations to the exclusive Crystal Cabin Awards ceremony attended by some 250 industry executives. The seven Crystal Cabin award categories represent one of the highest international honors for companies that specialize in technology and products for aircraft cabins.
  • One company furthered discussions begun at AIX 2016 and reports they are now on the cusp of a major new three to five-year contract.
  • Another member of our delegation closed out the last day of the show by earning a nondisclosure agreement and request for drawings from a major aircraft seating company. The contact was generated by someone who had attended a group procurement meeting earlier in the day. Recognizing our Washington supplier as they passed by that afternoon, the representative pulled a colleague in to speak with them.
  • From start to finish, this year’s Aircraft Interiors Expo was positive for our companies. They have plenty of follow-up work on the books and want to return again next year to keep the success going.

     

    Washington State delegation joins German aerospace cluster at Aircraft Interiors Expo

    Commerce leads 11 Washington companies seeking to strengthen connections, build on opportunities with Germany’s Hanse-Aerospace group at international trade show

    OLYMPIA, Wash.  –  Washington State, the leading global hub for aerospace design, development and manufacturing, is the only U.S. state exhibiting at this year’s Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX), April 4-6 in Hamburg, Germany. For its third appearance at AIX, the Washington Department of Commerce joins more than 80 companies exhibiting under the umbrella of Germany‘s Hanse-Aerospace association of aviation and space industry companies.

    One day before AIX, Commerce staff and several members of the delegation will visit Airbus at its center in Hamburg Finkenwerder.

    Hosting their largest AIX delegation to date, the “Choose Washington” team has its own island exhibit (#6A70/F) inside the Hanse-Aerospace Pavilion – the focal point of the show. Participating Washington State delegates are:

    Washington’s aerospace sector numbers more than 1,400 related firms, employing nearly 139,000 of the world’s most highly trained workers, supplying every major aircraft equipment manufacturer worldwide. Aircraft interiors is one of the fastest-growing segments, and Washington companies are on the leading edge of demand for new technology and design, with features and materials that are redefining comfort and function in the air.

    “Our aerospace industry serves the full breadth of commercial, military, general aviation and space, producing nearly 90 percent of all passenger planes manufactured in North America,” said Brian Bonlender, director of the Washington State Department of Commerce.

    A major driver of Washington’s economy, the powerful aerospace sector strengthens communities all across the state, with aerospace-related businesses employing people in 35 of 39 counties, Bonlender said.

    “We would not be able to attend such prestigious international industry events as AIX in Hamburg without the continued support and guidance from the Washington State Department of Commerce,” explains Debbie Lee, CEO of Tool Gauge. “As a fast-growing Washington-based aerospace supplier, the ability to connect directly with our European customers is instrumental to our future success and we are grateful to Commerce for providing us with those opportunities.”

    “IDEA International was formed in early 2005. Our ability to operate on a global level has definitely been enhanced through the invaluable support of the Washington State Department of Commerce and their support team. We have traveled to Europe, the Middle East and Asia and gained multiple contracts as a result. A jolly big thank you to one and all,” said Julian Shape, President/CEO, IDEA International, an engineering and certification consultancy specializing in structures and interiors stress analysis.

    “The Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX) in Hamburg is the most cost-effective event for us to meet international customers, including airlines and OEMs, for the very large aircraft interiors market,” said John Courtright, director of sales and marketing for Structural Integrity Engineering (SIE). “SIE is in the business of providing quality installation engineering and supplemental type certificates for complex cabin interior reconfigurations and aircraft connectivity systems and, as a small supplier, this business is important to us.  Without the teamwork and guidance of the Washington State Department of Commerce aerospace team, SIE would not have the global reach needed to get to this international customer base.”

    “Orion is appreciative of the guidance from the Washington State Department of Commerce and the U.S. Export Assistance Center that we received while introducing our capabilities to a larger market, and promoting our products and services on an international stage,” said John Theisen, president and CEO of Orion Industries, and Pacific Northwest Aerospace Alliance 2017 Executive of the Year. A three-time Boeing Supplier of the Year, Orion is a leader in the manufacturing, painting and finishing of precision metal fabrication parts. Its nonprofit training and education division, Orionworks, was recently honored with a 2017 Innovation Award by the Puget Sound Business Journal for its work addressing diverse populations and employing persons with disabilities or other barriers to employment.

    Several companies in this year’s AIX delegation received export vouchers and other assistance including market research, business-to-business matchmaking and other services from the Department of Commerce international trade team.

    Learn about all of the companies in this year’s AIX trade show online. Visit Washington State’s exhibit in Hamburg in the Hanse-Aerospace Pavilion, stand 6A70/F.  Follow on social media @WAStateCommerce.

    State invests $123K to help train 90 certified marine welders in Port Angeles over five years

    Assistance, partnership needed to meet demand for skilled aluminum welders as Armstrong Marine expands to fulfill $38 million contract to build Navy maintenance barges in peninsula community

    The Washington State Department of Commerce has awarded a $123,000 Governor’s Work Start grant to develop customized curriculum and train certified aluminum welders to support business expansion and new jobs at Armstrong Marine Inc. (AMI) in Port Angeles. AMI recently won a $38 million government contract to build state-of-the-art maintenance barges for the U.S. Navy.

    Partners in the Port Angeles project, Impact Washington and Peninsula College, will work together with AMI to develop an expedited training.  The company plans to double its workforce in the Port Angeles area, hiring 60 new workers over the next 24 months. In addition to fulfilling AMI’s need to train qualified marine welders, the Work Start program will become regular curriculum at Peninsula College to support future growth in the state’s $37.6 billion maritime industry sector.

    Port Angeles and Sequim High Schools also may be involved in supporting a Running Start pathway to skilled, good-paying jobs in the marine trades on the rural Olympic Peninsula.

    “Boat and ship building, repair and maintenance is a vital subsector of Washington’s maritime industry, and a key economic driver for Clallam County,” said Gov. Jay Inslee. “This project not only supports Armstrong Marine’s immediate expansion plans, but also supports our goals to increase export opportunities and continue to build our maritime, military and defense sectors.”

    “We are pleased to have another exciting opportunity to help one of our longtime businesses expand and provide good jobs for skilled workers in the highly competitive maritime trades. Without programs such as Work Start, companies like Armstrong Marine have to look elsewhere, out of state, to find what they need,” said Ann Avary, director of the Washington Marine Center of Excellence in Port Angeles.

    According to Joshua Berger, Governor Inslee’s maritime sector lead at Commerce, many of the 17,000 people employed in the ship and boat building sector around the state are aging out of the workforce.

    “It is a priority for us to support living-wage job creation in our rural communities, and Armstrong is indicative of an industry in need of these high-demand jobs. Facilitating connections between local employers and the training community is critical to creating a sustainable pathway for new and incumbent workers,” said Berger.

    “The AMI partnership with Peninsula College and Impact Washington will train highly skilled marine aluminum welders to fulfill the immediate needs of AMI and provide a platform to facilitate its future growth,” said Loren Lyon, president of Impact Washington. “It will also institutionalize the training to produce additional highly paid, skilled aluminum welders to support other boat builders on the peninsula. In a rural county with considerable workforce headwinds, this Work Start program is of particular importance.”

    Initial training begins this summer with 15 workers taking part in the new program that culminates in American Welding Society certification testing. A technical roundtable is planned Friday, March 31 to discuss the project schedule and requirements.

    Contacts:

    Penny Thomas, Commerce Communications, 206-256-6106

    Joshua Berger, Governor’s Maritime Sector Lead, 206-256-6104

    Working to build a better Washington

    Friends,

    Our role at Commerce is to strengthen communities – helping Washington become an even better place to live, work and play.

    While Seattle and the Puget Sound region garner attention because of strong job growth, not all areas of the state are recovering as quickly. We need more emphasis on rural and underserved communities to help them recover, too.

    We are doing that in a variety of important ways. We are working to direct our small business services programs, like export assistance and economic gardening, to capture more businesses from rural and underserved communities.  We recently assisted with funding for improvements to the Covington City Park in King County. We’re helping the city of Pateros in Okanogan County recover from the Carlton Complex Fires by providing funding to restore and update their damaged water system.

    Looking at the state as whole, we know many communities face a crisis in homelessness, which affects their ability to attract and retain businesses. Washington is now the third most expensive state in the U.S. in which to buy a house, and the Seattle metro area is now more expensive than New York’s, exceeded only by California.

    The housing affordability crisis is fueling the homelessness crisis by drastically increasing the number of households barely making ends meet while being only one life event away from homelessness. Affordable housing and homelessness remain our agency’s greatest priorities. While there may be no easy answers, we are committed to turning the tide on homelessness.

    We can be proud of the fact that Washington was near the top of US News & World Report’s annual Best States report in late February. Our rank at number 5 underscored many of the most outstanding attributes of our state. However, we have to recognize that issues like our geographically uneven economic recovery and housing affordability crisis have material impacts on people throughout the state and jeopardize our standing in rankings like these.

    Prosperity and opportunity start with strong communities, and that’s the core purpose of our work at Commerce.

    Legislative update

    The Legislature has just passed day 75 of this 105-day session. Though there has been quite a bit of action thus far, there is still plenty of work left to do in the month remaining. As the budgets roll out, Commerce is actively working with legislators to ensure they leave this session having invested in the necessary resources to address our affordable housing and homelessness crisis across the state. Commerce has been supportive of efforts to remove the sunset on the state’s Document Recording Fee that supports local efforts to reduce homelessness, as well as various policy efforts to make it easier for cities to promote more development of affordable housing.

    In addition to efforts on housing, Commerce is working with legislators to establish another round of investment in the state’s Clean Energy Fund (CEF) to continue to address the transformation of our energy ecosystem. The CEF enables a mix of projects to support development, demonstration and deployment of clean energy technologies. These new technology solutions create regional jobs that will serve national and global markets. Commerce is hopeful the legislature will invest in CEF this year, and we look forward to continued negotiations on that front.

    Legislators have a lot on their plates, from the McCleary decision to local infrastructure and so much more. Commerce is proud to play a role in assisting those efforts as they align with our broader mission of strengthening communities.

    Strengthening communities by building infrastructure: Pateros, Snohomish

    Pateros Water TowerIn the summer of 2014, the largest wildfire in our state’s history devastated communities in Okanogan County. The city of Pateros was hit hard. Not only were hundreds of homes lost, but fire engulfed and severely damaged the city’s water tanks. Commerce has partnered with Pateros to address its severe water system needs and improve this rural city’s capacity to recover. Funding from Commerce includes a $2.7 million Community Development Block Grant and $2.8 million appropriated by the state Legislature to construct new wells, storage reservoirs, pump stations and water lines. These state funds also leveraged USDA Rural Development loan financing.

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    Michael Furze Container BatteryThanks in part to investments from the Clean Energy Fund, SnohomishPUD and Mulkilteo-based UniEnergy Technologies (UET) will celebrate the world’s largest containerized vanadium flow battery system. SnoPUD is exploring micro-grid “islanding” as a solution to provide auxiliary power during major outages.

    Strengthening communities by building resilient communities: Port Townsend, Port of Bellingham

    Center for Wooden BoatbuildingEnsuring that every person has a career path forward is a critical step toward building more resilient communities.

    In February, Joshua Berger, who serves as Gov. Inslee’s maritime sector lead, visited Port Townsend High School students to highlight new job opportunities.  The maritime sector is the third-largest economic driver in our state, and there is a critical need for engineers and application developers in that space. Washington’s diverse maritime industry directly supports over 69,000 jobs and has a combined economic impact of over $37 billion annually. Maritime reaches from urban centers to rural towns up and down the state’s working waterfronts. In March, Commerce awarded a $100,000 WorkStart grant to help the Northwest School of Wooden Boatbuilding launch a new marine systems training program in Port Townsend. These funds will help address the industry’s high demand for skilled marine systems technicians and help create good-paying jobs.

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    In late January, the Port of Bellingham secured a $125,000 workforce development grant from Commerce so that solar panel manufacturer ITEK Energy can train new workers. The grant will fund training for up to 125 workers; 40 of those will be new hires.

    Strengthening communities by providing human services: VOCA, Weatherization Plus Health

    The Department of Commerce recently awarded $8,450,105 to 16 tribes in Washington to serve victims of crime.

    A study funded by the National Institute of Justice found that American Indian and Alaska Native women and men suffer violence at an alarmingly high rate. More than four in five American Indian and Alaska Native women and men have experienced violence in their lifetime.

    Funding for the grants comes from the U.S. Department of Justice, which administers the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) Crime Victims Fund. These grants will enhance current services, improve coordination of child and youth programs, and add parenting support services. Services will also be expanded for the elderly and vulnerable adult victims of crime.

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    Commerce’s already successful Weatherization Program is now improving the health of Washington’s citizens through its new Weatherization Plus Health (Wx+H) program.

    In addition to helping people lower their energy bills, the program can now help people stay healthy by addressing issues like asthma, mold and tripping hazards. During the current biennium, the local network of weatherization providers will be working with over 700 households through this innovative program.

    The Wx+H program is just one more way Commerce strengthens communities by helping people address their most basic needs.

    Strengthening communities by growing the economy and promoting Washington: Trade relationships and CLT

    Washington State has built strong trade relationships across the globe. Nearly $90 billion in total goods traveled out of the state last year. Commerce is committed to keeping trade relationships growing to keep the economy moving forward. The department does that in several different ways. In March, Commerce hosted an educational session for technology companies wishing to grow their businesses by exporting to the United Kingdom, a $3 billion per year trading partner with the state. The agency also recently co-hosted a three-day event that presented an opportunity for Japanese companies to connect with Washington businesses developing artificial intelligence (AI) technology, intended to give them a better sense of what top Japanese companies’ top AI interests are.

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    Washington State has built strong trade relationships across the globe. Nearly $90 billion in total goods traveled out of the state last year. Commerce is committed to keeping trade relationships growing to keep the economy moving forward. The department does that in several different ways. In March, Commerce hosted an educational session for technology companies wishing to grow their businesses by exporting to the United Kingdom, a $3 billion per year trading partner with the state. The agency also recently co-hosted a three-day event that presented an opportunity for Japanese companies to connect with Washington businesses developing artificial intelligence (AI) technology, intended to give them a better sense of what top Japanese companies' top AI interests are. _____ Commerce is involved in the exciting news about new opportunities that may be in store for our state’s timber industry. Cross-laminated timber (CLT) can use trees that otherwise would have gone to waste to create a new material that is as strong and fire-resistant as steel or concrete. Washington is funding a pilot project to construct much-needed classroom additions out of cross-laminated timber. If widely adopted, CLT has the potential to breathe life back into struggling rural communities by creating new timber jobs.Commerce is involved in the exciting news about new opportunities that may be in store for our state’s timber industry. Cross-laminated timber (CLT) can use trees that otherwise would have gone to waste to create a new material that is as strong and fire-resistant as steel or concrete.  Washington is funding a pilot project to construct much-needed classroom additions out of cross-laminated timber. If widely adopted, CLT has the potential to breathe life back into struggling rural communities by creating new timber jobs.