Amidst growing signs that The Boeing Company may locate future jetliner manufacturing projects outside of Washington, today’s closing news conference from the Paris Air Show had elected state officials stressing “supply chain” jobs.
“We have great growth opportunities within the supply chain that already supplies Boeing” and at least three other major aircraft manufacturers, said Gov. Jay Inslee during a telephone news conference this morning. “Already, 35 percent of the jobs in our state’s aerospace sector are within the supply chain, not manufacturing at Boeing.”
Speaking from Paris, where he was the late substitute leader of Washington’s trade delegation for the governor who was stuck at home by the legislative budget deadlock, Rep. Rick Larsen said there is great interest outside of the U.S. in connecting — or even joining — supply chain participants here for two reasons.
“I met with the head of Airbus North America today and that company is looking to increase its supplier base in the U.S.,” Larsen said, because transactions here would be done in U.S. dollars, considered a strong world currency. He also noted that Washington state already has the educated and skilled workforce needed to support aerospace jobs, whereas other competing states are having to build up that resource now.
“The supply chain has flown under the radar,” added the governor. “Perhaps we haven’t given it enough attention in our aerospace strategy. The fact is: We don’t live in a one-company world anymore,” apparently in reference to the state’s former dependance solely on Boeing.
Rep. Larsen said Washington companies already are supplying Airbus, Bombardier (Canada) and Embraer (Brazil) in addition to Boeing.
He also reported meeting with Manuel Torres, president of Spanish manufacturer M.Torres Industriales, which purchased a Bothell company last September to enter the U.S. aerospace supply chain business earlier. The firm today announced it will be building a manufacturing plant in the Everett area this July after already increasing is local jobs count at the former Pacifica Engineering Inc.