Washington State is home to the largest aerospace cluster in the world, with over 132,000 aerospace-related employees and more than 1,350 aerospace firms. Aerospace provides one thing that fewer and fewer industries can offer: large numbers of high-paying blue collar manufacturing jobs.
Puget Sound Regional Council’s mission is to ensure a thriving central Puget Sound, both now and in the future through planning for regional transportation, growth management, and economic development. PSRC developed a strategy with more than 300 business, government, labor, community, and education leaders from throughout the region and state, including action items designed to grow the region’s strengths in aerospace and aerospace supply chains.
Workforce and Training: To build on local workforce development assets, PSRC plans to add 1,000 training slots in high-demand fields identified by an employer survey. It also plans to expand the work of its Pipeline Committee to address every level of education from preschool to grad school. The Center of Excellence for Aerospace & Advanced Manufacturing (COE) will serve as a central point of entry for students and jobseekers to navigate aerospace careers. As part of its workforce efforts, PSRC will evaluate all community and technical college (CTC) composite materials program curricula, identify core competencies and common courses; create a 37,000 square foot Advance Manufacturing Training & Education Center (AMTEC) to train students for high demand jobs in manufacturing and aerospace; and provide funding for training programs.
Supplier Networks: To improve supplier capabilities, PSRC plans to map gaps in Boeing’s supply chain, and identify opportunities to attract investment in facilities and employees in relative proximity to final assembly sites. PSRC will expand the use of an online database of Washington suppliers to assist OEMs in identifying and partnering with capable supply chain partners and will seek to develop informal and formal partnerships with other aerospace regions. PSRC will also conduct a study to research and develop strategies to align the aerospace supplier industry with other industries that share transferable workforce skills.
Research and Innovation: PSRC will seek to leverage research from Washington State University and the University of Washington aviation biofuels through the public-private Sustainable Aviation Biofuels Working Group to develop a commercially viable biofuels industry. It will also seek to build on work of the Greener Skies Over Seattle initiative to reduce the environmental impact of air travel.
Infrastructure and Site Development: PRSC will support a sustainable system of local and federal funding to ensure commercial airports are well maintained and able to support commercial and passenger freight service. It will also work with key transit organizations to ensure they have funding to maintain and improve commuter access to key aerospace employment centers. The expansion and rehabilitation of strategic rail spurs to reduce truck congestion on interstates and spur economic development will be continued.
Trade and Investment: PRSC will continue to participate in the US Small Business Administration’s State Trade & Export Promotion (STEP) program, helping local manufacturers find new markets. PRSC will include at least one aerospace market target in the Trade Development Alliance update of its five-year plan, plan and implement one outbound trade delegation per year, and expand Spokane’s aerospace footprint by facilitating two trade missions each year.
Operational Improvement and Capital Access: PRSC will expand the number of smart building test facilities in the i6 Green Challenge program, including more manufacturing facilities, and increase awareness and adoption of energy efficiency technology using the Northwest Smart Building Center to improve operations and expand capital access.
Supplier Network: Build-to-Demand; King County Aerospace Alliance; Washington State Office of Aerospace
Workforce and Training: Aerospace Futures Alliance (AFA); Aerospace Joint Apprenticeship Committee (AJAC); Boeing; Center for Excellence for Aerospace & Advanced Manufacturing; Edmonds Community College; Everett Community College; Joint Center for Aerospace Innovation Technology (JCATI); Pipeline Committee; City of Renton; Washington Aerospace Training & Resource (WATR) Center; Washington State; Washington State Office of Financial Management (OFM); Washington State Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI)
Infrastructure and Site Development: Economic Alliance Snohomish County (EASC); Economic Development Board for Tacoma-Pierce County; Economic Development Council-Seattle King County; Grant County Economic Development Council; Greater Spokane, Inc.; Kitsap Economic Development Alliance (KEDA); Washington Aerospace Partnership; Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT)
Operational Improvement and Capital Access: Impact Washington
Research and Innovation: Port of Seattle; Puget Sound Regional Council; Sustainable Aviation Biofuels Working Group
Trade and International Investment: Trade Development Alliance; Washington Council on International Trade (WCIT); Washington State Department of Commerce