June 6, 2018

Washington’s aerospace supercluster is unmatched

Washington State ranks “most competitive” in U.S. by a wide margin for aerospace manufacturing

Independent researchers looked at 41 metrics in every state and the District of Columbia.

Washington’s dense aerospace “supercluster” is unmatched.

June 6, 2018, Seattle

Washington state is the best, most competitive, location in the U.S. for aerospace design and manufacturing, according to a comprehensive, independent report released today by Gov. Jay Inslee and members of the Choose Washington New Middle-of-the-Market Airplane Council (NMA Council).

Fairfax, Virginia-based Teal Group, led by Vice President of Analysis Richard Aboulafia and Senior Economist Tom Zoretich, and research firm Olympic Analytics conducted the Aerospace Competitive Economics Study (Teal Report), an analysis of the competitive advantages and disadvantages for aerospace manufacturing in all 50 states and DC. The Teal Report employs a rankings system to grade states across 41 metrics, grouped in eight categories, measuring factors relevant to aerospace production like cost structure, skilled labor availability, global trade connectivity and tax climate.

Gov. Jay Inslee said: “Washington has an aerospace supercluster like none other in the country,” Gov. Jay Inslee said. “The Teal report shows that by any measure, Washington is leading the way and offers the most competitive environment and workforce for companies seeking to build world-class planes.” Jon Holden, IAM District 751 President, said an important innovation used in this study was how the researchers ranked labor costs. “The Teal Report looks not just at the basic cost of the labor, but they also looked at the output of that labor. What they found is that machinists and engineers (SPEEA) here in Washington are very efficient and productive. We produce more aerospace output per dollar cost of labor than almost anywhere else. So Washington ranks very well in the labor cost criteria.”

Richard Aboulafia said that manufacturing siting decisions are more important today than ever before. “The aerospace assembly business is hypercompetitive and involves tremendous risk. Manufacturers want to make decisions, especially the critical decision about where to assemble, where there’s the lowest possible risk and the highest potential for success.”

Brian Bonlender, Director of the state Department of Commerce, said the Teal Report provides the NMA Council with a road map for strengthening the case for building the next new Boeing aircraft in Washington. “Washington outscores every state – and that’s great news – but the report also shows where we can make improvements. We’ll be taking a hard look at what we and our partners can do to improve our competitiveness.”

Kelly Maloney, Aerospace Futures Alliance President and CEO, said, “The Teal Report confirms Washington is uniquely positioned to support new airplane development through our aerospace industry supercluster-a $70 billion economic driver supporting more than 250,000 jobs.”

Bruce Dammeier, Pierce County Executive, said, “Aerospace is a major driver of jobs in Pierce County. 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. Winning Boeing’s next aircraft requires a team effort and, as a member in the NMA Council, I’m confident we will be able to take the results of the Teal Group study and help shape a successful proposal.”

The Choose Washington NMA Council was created by Governor Inslee to lead a multi-pronged, broad-based, statewide campaign to demonstrate Washington’s position as the site with the lowest risk and highest return on Boeing’s potential investment to design, produce, and assemble the new airplane.

The Choose Washington NMA Council is led by business, labor, education, economic development, and elected leaders. The Council is chaired by Dr. Noel Schulz, a Washington State University engineering professor and Rick Bender, a former president of the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO.

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For a copy of the report visit: http://nma.choosewashingtonstate.com/

CONTACT: Penny Thomas, penny.thomas@commerce.wa.gov, t: 206-256-6106, m: 360-704-9489


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