August 4, 2017

A Fruitful (and Sweltering) Paris Air Show

Economic Development Board for Tacoma-Pierce County at the 2017 Paris Air Show aerospace

A Fruitful (and Sweltering) Paris Air Show

We’ll spare you the “How hot was it?” jokes.

Greg Unruh (l) and Bruce Dammeier at the 2017 Paris Air Show

Temps in the upper 90s didn’t deter the state’s largest-ever delegation to the 2017 International Paris Air Show, June 19-25. The EDB was part of a robust Washington State group led by the Washington State Department of Commerce. Seventy leaders worked together to staff the state’s booth and participate in official meetings.

“We showed the world we have every intention of growing our lead in global aerospace innovation and job growth,” said EDB President & CEO Bruce Kendall.

Pierce County Executive Bruce Dammeier and CHI Franciscan Health Foundation President Greg Unruh teamed with Kendall in a divide-and-conquer strategy to meet with 34 aerospace companies. The trio came away with six “hot leads” that will become cases for the EDB and its partners. These firms do not currently have a presence in Washington State and are interested in exploring locations and job creation in the South Sound.

“Bruce Kendall is a real task master,” joked Dammeier, before turning serious. “We worked morning to night. It was extremely exhausting but very constructive time, and we were pleasantly surprised to make the most unexpected connections at unusual times and in unusual places. Many people were already well aware of Pierce County.”

“I experienced firsthand how the EDB plants the seeds of relationships that will come to fruition in years to come and bring untold numbers of jobs to our region,” said Unruh. “This was truly a marathon, not a sprint.”

“I extend my grateful thanks to Bruce and Greg for stepping up to this work,” Kendall said. “It can get pretty intense. I think it’s fair to say we nailed it.”

The final numbers are in, and the Paris stats are impressive:

  • 322,000 visitors braved the heat to participate in the show: 142,000 on the business side plus 180,000 members of the general public
  • 2,381 exhibitors represented 48 countries
  • 3,450 accredited journalists covered the events

Numbers for The Boeing Company are hot, as well. During the air show, commercial airlines announced a total of 571 Boeing airplane orders, including orders for 777 and 787 models containing components manufactured at the Frederickson Boeing plant.


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