Washington easily tops the country for competition and location in aerospace design and manufacturing, according to a study released this month and touted by Gov. Jay Inslee.
The Aerospace Competitive Economics Study, led by aerospace consulting firm Teal Group and research group Olympic Analytics, found that Washington rated highly across categories including research and innovation, industry, and costs. The state topped the economy and industry categories and ranked in the top 5 in seven of eight sections; it had “significant separation” from Ohio, which received the second highest marks.
The report also praised Washington’s supplier density, which ranked third, due in part to the many manufacturers, suppliers, and vendors that operate near Boeing facilities in Everett, Renton, and throughout the region.
“Aerospace is a major driver of jobs in Pierce County,” Pierce County executive Bruce Dammeier said. “In addition to Boeing’s Frederickson Plant and Composites Manufacturing Center, Pierce County is home to over 70 aerospace suppliers. These suppliers will play a critical role in the supply chain for Boeing’s NMA, along with the regional network of 92,000 trained aerospace workers.”
Teal Group cited Washington’s low energy costs, which ranked No. 1 in the nation, as critical in aircraft manufacturing, and noted the production of new products like Boeing 777 landing gear and carbon fiber spars.
In December, Inslee launched the Choose Washington NMA Council, a campaign to demonstrate to Boeing that Washington offered the best and most cost-effective place to build its potential new mid-market aircraft.
Washington State Department of Commerce director Brian Bonlender said the Teal Report offers the council valuable insight into how it can strengthen its pitch to Boeing.
“Washington outscores every state — and that’s great news — but the report also shows where we can make improvements,” Bonlender added. “We’ll be taking a hard look at what we and our partners can do to improve our competitiveness.”