A delegation from the Economic Development Board (EDB) for Tacoma-Pierce County are at the International Paris Air Show this week.

“Our team will be meeting with just about 65 companies from Europe, Asia, and South America while there to discuss the benefits of locating facilities and creating jobs in Pierce County,” said EDB President and CEO Bruce Kendall.

Tacoma and Pierce County are part of the supply chain for Boeing aircraft, according to the EDB, and the region has a strong aerospace industry manufacturing presence.

Kendall is accompanied by Pierce County Councilmember Dave Morell, City of Lakewood Deputy Mayor Jason Whalen, Pierce County Economic Development Director Betty Nokes Capestany, and Benaroya Company and Centeris Data Center Director of Marketing Lisa Goodman.

Paris Air Show

Photo courtesy Bruce Kendall.

The delegation is also participating in the Washington State Department of Commerce’s larger cohort, according to Kendall, which includes a mix of public and private industry leaders.

Established in 1909, International Paris Air Show, which is held this year between June 17 and June 23, has occurred every odd-numbered year in Paris since 1949. The event is expected to include exhibitors from nearly 2,500 aviation companies headquartered around the world, more than 322,000 visitors, and 150 aircraft on display.

Kendall and the EDB delegation will be sharing photos and information about the event with South Sound Business, which we will share on our Twitter feed during the International Paris Air Show. An article about the EDB delegation’s trip to Paris will be published in the August issue of South Sound Business.

Also, you can follow the EDB delegation on social media by searching for the #EDBinParis and #InvestPierceCounty hashtags, as well as the Washington State Department of Commerce delegation by searching for the #PAS19 and #ChooseWA hashtags.

Paris Air Show

Photo courtesy Bruce Kendall

DAY 1

A delegation from the EDB for Tacoma-Pierce County arrives for the International Paris Air Show in Le Bourget, France. The team made its pitch to 10 firms headquartered in California, France, Great Britain, Italy, and elsewhere. At the end of the day, the team returned to Central Paris via bus and train.

Day 2

Photo courtesy Bruce Kendall

DAY 2

After meeting with a major French innovator of AI, exploring static displays of military aircraft, and discussions with a Japanese firm doing its due diligence on the Pierce County market, the EDB for Tacoma-Pierce County delegation heard from three NASA Apollo astronauts — Walter Cunningham, Charlie Duke, and Al Worden — about their lunar experiences 50 years ago.

Photo courtesy Bruce Kendall

DAY 3

Washington state was at the forefront of many conversations today, according to the EDB for Tacoma-Pierce County delegation. Boeing landed a big order with IAG for 200 737 Max airplanes, and Amazon ordered 15 Boeing 757 airplanes for its fleet. Meanwhile, the delegation met with firms from Belgium, Israel, Japan, and the United States of America to discuss sites, workforce, and regulatory assistance in Pierce County, Tacoma, and Washington state.

Photo courtesy Bruce Kendall

DAY 4

Pierce County Economic Development Director Betty Nokes Capestany and Pierce County Councilmember Dave Morell pose near the SpaceTrain prototype at the International Paris Air Show. SpaceTrain, which is still under development, is designed to travel at speeds exceeding 700 miles per hour on a single track.

“While Boeing and Airbus duke it out over plane orders, Team Pierce County made headway developing relationships with parts and engineering firms from California, Germany, and Ireland,” said EDB President and CEO Bruce Kendall. “Our sweet spots are companies already supplying Boeing, but do not have a presence in Washington state. And we promote Washington companies, like Amazon, who are growing players in aerospace.”

Photo courtesy Bruce Kendall

DAY 5

Having completed nearly five-dozen meetings with foreign and domestic companies during the International Paris Air Show, the EDB delegation is headed back to Pierce County to provide follow-up information — such as available sites, workforce pipeline, and incentives — to eight “hot” leads and numerous “warm leads.”

“Air Shows are a terrific chance to build relationships that, in many instances, take years to flourish,” said EDB President and CEO Bruce Kendall, who provided a final update from the event. “As a wise coach once said, ‘You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.’ That is why we take advantage of these major trade shows. They provide the highest concentration of aerospace companies on the planet.”

Still, it wasn’t all work at the Air Show, as evidenced by a Star Wars-inspired LEGO X-wing starfighter large enough to sit in.