Today leading aerospace, tech and business leaders in the South Sound gathered at the McGavick Conference Center in Lakewood for the region's second annual Pierce County Aerospace Summit.

“We very much feel that (aerospace) has a lot of potential, and benefits, for this area,” said Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber business and political manager Gary Brackett. “Therefore, we want to make sure we understand the industry, its needs and where it's going, so that we're an advocate for (those types of) businesses in the community.”

Beyond the Boeing plant, nearly 100 local businesses provide aerospace-related products and services in Pierce county.

More than 200 people attended the event, which was co-hosted by the Tacoma-Pierce County Economic Development Board and Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy.

“There has never been a more important time for us to focus on this industry,” said Tacoma Pierce Aerospace Partners and EDB vice president Chris Green. “Pierce County (already) has a high level of coordination among policy makers, businesses and workforce development leaders, and this event is designed to build on that collaboration.”