Gov. Chris Gregoire today continued to meet with executives from some of the world's most influential aerospace companies at the Farnborough Air Show in London, highlighting the advantages of doing business in Washington state.
"Aerospace continues to be a bright spot in our economic recovery," Gregoire said. "And I want to ensure this critical industry succeeds and grows here long after my time in the governor's office. Over the last two days, my staff and I have participated in nearly two dozen meetings with more than 50 aerospace company executives. I'm pleased with the discussions we've had -- and like past years, I am confident they will lead to future job growth in our state."
Gregoire today conducted face-to-face meetings with major executives, including President and Chief Executive Officer of The Boeing Company, Jim McNerney. Gregoire also met with executives at Esterline and Crane Aerospace, and continued to promote Washington state's aerospace supply companies to international plane manufacturers, including Airbus.
Additionally, Gregoire today witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the Pacific Northwest Aerospace Alliance and Aéro Montréal, Québec's aerospace cluster. The agreement will allow the organizations to exchange information about programs and initiatives, and their respective member's needs and capabilities. The organizations will study the supply chains to explore how both clusters could better integrate and leverage core competencies to develop complementary value chains. The agreement will also encompass the possibility of taking part in local and international projects and business-to-business events to benefit members of both clusters, as well as reciprocal support for research projects.
"This agreement further promotes the exchange of information between two of the world's largest aerospace clusters, each with a prime goal of developing complementary value chains to mutually increase jobs and work opportunities in both regions. It is a true win-win for small companies on both sides of the U.S.-Canadian border." said Bill King, PNAA Vice Chair.
More than 50 aerospace companies from Washington state, and several aerospace consortiums representing more than 200 Washington aerospace businesses are exhibiting at the Air Show highlighting Washington state, including our world-class aerospace training programs, its more than 700 aerospace companies, and its more than 92,000 highly-skilled aerospace workers.
"I couldn't be more pleased with how our meetings at the Farnborough Air Show went," Gregoire said. "In addition to the meetings I attended, members of our trade delegation worked tirelessly to promote Washington state to those visiting the show. I couldn't be more proud of their work, and am confident that our long days here will pay off with new jobs and opportunities."
Gregoire today also congratulated Bellingham-based HeathTecna on their announcement this morning that the company's innovative interior design, code-named Project Amber, will launch with Qantas Airways in the fourth quarter of this year. The new design is a pivot bin interior replacement for Boeing 737 and 757 aircraft, featuring 30 to 40 percent more overhead bin capacity for passengers and other contemporary upgrades.
"HeathTecna's list of contributions to our state's history of aerospace innovation and job growth is impressive. Since our last visit to the 2011 Paris Air Show, the company has added more than 170 jobs. This latest win again strengthens Washington's position as the leading aerospace supply chain in the world," Gregoire said.
Additionally, Gregoire today commended Bothell-based Pacifica Engineering, which learned it was selected as a key supplier for Bell Helicopter's new 525 Relentless program. Bell Helicopter engaged in an extensive selection process of which Pacifica Engineering, Inc. participated throughout the process.
"This is more great news for Washington state, and another example that highlights the skill of our world class supplier base," Gregoire said. "I couldn't be more pleased for Pacifica Engineering and its new partnership with Bell Helicopter. The company will provide engineering and fabrication support for the 525 Relentless drive system and rotor blades. Partnerships like these underscore the importance of events like the Farnborough Air Show where our businesses can continue to build relationships that literally serve the world."
Following her time at the air show, Gregoire traveled to Paddington to introduce members of the trade mission delegation to executives at Everything Everywhere, the largest mobile network operator in the United Kingdom, serving 28 million customers. Everything Everywhere operates under both the Orange and T-Mobile brands. T-Mobile's U.S. headquarters are in Bellevue, Washington.
"This was an opportunity to showcase Washington's leadership in the information and communication technology sector, and bring delegates together in the office of one of the most influential communications firms in Europe," Gregoire said. "Washington state is home to the original cellular network in the US and continues to innovate in mobile technology, with more than 4,000 innovative and creative companies in the ICT sector. There are significant opportunities for these companies to expand and work with businesses around the world. This was a good introduction meeting that I'm confident will lead to new partnerships and expansion opportunities."
"Silicon Valley companies like Google, Facebook, and Twitter are growing their developer teams in Washington state because of our talent pool and lower costs," said Commerce Director Rogers Weed. "We consistently rank in the top three states in the US in the number of mobile application developer jobs and continue to be a hub of innovation."
"RootMetrics is honored to be involved in this trade mission. As a Washington-based company now expanding into Europe, the Governor's delegation is an excellent venue for introducing RootMetrics and our capabilities beyond U.S. borders," said Greg Kleven, Managing Director for RootMetrics in Europe. "We are excited to bring an independent view of mobile performance to the UK and Ireland so that consumers will be empowered to make the best service decisions based on where they live, work and play."
Tomorrow, Gregoire and the delegation wrap up the week-long trade mission in London, where she will spotlight the state's dynamic automotive technology industry.
Visit Gregoire's online travel journal that includes travel notes from the governor and the rest of the delegation, the itinerary and photos of the trade mission. Access the travel journal by following the link on her homepage: www.governor.wa.gov.