“The State of U.S. Aerospace” headlines Washington state exhibit at Paris Air Show

  • June 13, 2019

Independent Teal Report on aerospace competitiveness ranks Washington state’s “supercluster” best for aerospace design and manufacturing; largest ever state delegation helps showcase why

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Buoyed by top rankings in a detailed study of U.S. aerospace competitiveness produced by the Teal Group (Download 2019 Summary), the Washington State Department of Commerce hosts the state’s largest delegation ever under the Choose Washington banner in the USA Partnership Pavilion at the 2019 Paris Air Show in Le Bourget, France, June 17-23.

U.S. Congressman Rick Larsen, Chair of the House Aviation Subcommittee, will participate in opening events. Washington Lt. Governor Cyrus Habib and Commerce Director Dr. Lisa Brown are leading the state business delegation of more than 80 participants, including State Senator Marko Liias, D-Mukilteo, Everett Mayor Cassie Franklin, and representatives of Washington’s aerospace industry.

“I’m proud to be leading Washington’s largest-ever delegation to the Paris Air Show this year with Director Brown and the State Department of Commerce.” said Lt. Governor Habib. “Decades of innovation in the commercial and defense aerospace industries continue to make our state number one in the nation for aerospace manufacturing. We are looking forward to sharing the wealth of new opportunities we have here in Washington on the international stage.”

Richard Aboulafia, vice president of analysis at the Teal Group, is featured in Washington state’s presentation at the USA Partnership Pavilion LaunchPad at 2 p.m. Wednesday, June 19, Hall 3-B7, sponsored by Greater Seattle Partners. Joined by Lt. Gov. Habib and Roei Ganzarski, chief executive officer of magniX, Seattle-based developers of an advanced all-electric propulsion system for commercial aviation and defense, Aboulafia will discuss the 2019 update to the Aerospace Competitive Economics Study.

The report again ranks Washington head and shoulders above all other U.S. states for aerospace manufacturing, including a move from #2 last year to #1 in the costs category.

The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, District 751 and SPEEA commissioned the Teal Group and Olympic Analytics to update the Aerospace Competitive Economics Study (ACES) for use by the unions and Gov. Inslee’s New Mid-Market Airplane (NMA) Council. The Teal Report ranks states across 41 metrics, measuring factors relevant to aerospace production like cost structure, skilled labor availability, global trade connectivity and tax climate. First released in 2018, the Teal Report is the most comprehensive, data-driven state-by-state aerospace competitiveness research ever done in the United States.

“The State of U.S. Aerospace” exhibit (View/Download Washington State Exhibitor Directory) features Washington’s dense supercluster of innovation and manufacturing composed of more than 1,400 companies and 136,000 highly-skilled workers responsible for producing more aerospace exports annually than California, Texas, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, Arizona and Alabama combined.

“Aerospace is a key driver of Washington’s overall thriving economy, generating some $70 billion annually in economic activity and supporting jobs that strengthen all of our communities, spanning 35 of our 39 counties,” said Commerce Director Dr. Lisa Brown.

“We continue to see strong interest in expansion and investment here,” she said, noting that in the first six months of this year, Commerce announced state support for two major projects representing over $42 million in capital investment. Atlanta-based Web Industries is building a carbon fiber composites manufacturing facility near the 777x wing assembly site in Snohomish County and Tacoma’s Tool Gauge is in the midst of a $20-million facilities expansion in Pierce County.

“From commercial space to hybrid-electric and autonomous aircraft, Washington is in a strong position to lead the next generation of aerospace innovation,” said Dr. Noel Schulz, co-chair of the NMA Council and a professor at Washington State University. “To stay on top we must continue to make investments in education, workforce training and in infrastructure.”

Schulz’ NMA co-chair, Rick Bender, former president of the Washington State Labor Council, said the Teal Report validates the contribution of Washington’s aerospace workforce.

“Aerospace companies want to be in Washington because we have the most highly-skilled and productive workforce in the industry,” Bender said.  “The workforce here is a major advantage to aerospace companies.”

Government and industry leaders have forged strong, statewide partnerships, emphasizing a focus on the future. From employer-driven education and training initiatives to infrastructure and business climate, public and private efforts around the state are collaborating and investing to keep Washington’s aerospace industry at the global forefront for years to come.

Notable today is how closely Washington’s huge high-tech sector is merging with value-added manufacturing, offering advances and assets in artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, predictive analytics, autonomous machines, augmented and virtual reality, and more. New opportunities and partnerships across industry sectors emerge almost daily from the region’s robust ecosystem of tech giants and entrepreneurs.

Participating companies:

Economic development organizations:

Aerospace industry organizations:

Visit the Choose Washington booth in the USA Pavilion, Hall 3, A82, and follow us on social media @WAStateCommerce, #ChooseWashington, #PAS19. The Washington delegation is hosting business networking receptions at 4-5:30 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons at the booth.

Media contacts:

Penny Thomas, Commerce Communications, Seattle, WA, (206) 256-6106

At the show: Robin Toth, Governor’s Aerospace Sector Lead, (206) 507-6409

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