Understanding the Industry

From Larry Cluphf, Director of the Washington Aerospace Training & Research Center and a member of the Air Washington group:

Why did so many businesses and educators decide to join the governor at the Paris Air show and visit companies in Germany? Because we know that Washington’s economy is highly linked to the aerospace industry.

There are 650 aerospace related companies in Washington besides the Boeing Company. If we are to keep and grow the aerospace industry, we must pay attention to our current customers, provide new research, be aware of current trends and above all understand our competition. Besides Washington, fifteen other states plus international representatives were well represented and vying for this business. This trip has allowed the delegation the opportunity to represent and promote Washington as a place to do business plus reaffirm our commitment to the aerospace industry.


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Eye-opening trip…

From Lee D. Lambert, President of Shoreline Community College

The governor’s trade mission to France and Germany was very informative and eye opening. As noted by the Consulate General in Hamburg, Germany it is important for USA to continue and strengthen existing relationships with it’s longstanding partners. As she noted, delegation trips like this one go a long way to show America’s commitment to it’s relationship with Germany. It was noted by the commercial service office that trade shows in Germany are one of the best ways to connect with existing and future partners.

I walked away from this trip with a deeper understanding of trends, partnerships and best practices in a global context. The competition for the ever expanding aerospace market is growing. Washington state must step up it’s efforts if it wants to continue to be the global leader. Examples of this was reflected at the 49th Paris Airshow. Within the USA, fourteen states were showcasing their efforts to attract and retain the aerospace industry. Many states highlighted their advantages be they tax credits, a strong well trained employee base, solid supply chain and a commitment to developing the future workforce.

This was a reminder of the role community college’s play in supporting the attraction and retention of the aerospace industry.

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Productive trip for life sciences…

From Chris Rivera – WBBA

We are winding down our trade mission in France and Germany today. It has been an extremely productive trip, and I am confident will lead to many new and ongoing collaborations with many of our Member organizations. We started in Toulouse, meeting with one of France’s biotech clusters that is in formation, the Cancer Bio Health Center, as well as with Pierre Fabre, a privately held pharmaceutical company. The response to our delegation was very welcoming, but the response from everyone that I meet outside of our great state was the same; “wow, we had no idea that Washington was so innovative and was home to so many world-class research organizations and companies.” There is great interest in beginning communications and learning more.

From Toulouse, to Paris. What a beautiful city! I spent nearly a year earlier in my career negotiating a licensing deal with Ipsen, a Paris based BioPharma company, so many memories were stirred. I also had a chance to go the to the Air Show, what a treat! Great meetings with the Paris bio-cluster, Cancer pole. The Governor joined us at Saint Louis Hospital, a 400 year old hospital. The conversation was very, very productive, again a similar response to our overview of life sciences in Washington, but once this impressive group realized the types of world class oncology research, development and commercialization organizations we have, we hope to facilitate some long-standing relationships that help patients with cancer, globally!

Yesterday was a very special day. Not because we had to get up at 4am to catch our flight from Paris to Hanover, Germany, but I turned 50 years old. We had a wonderful day with the BioRegioN, Hanover’s organization, similar to the WBBA. Our hosts we wonderful, we also signed an MOU with BioRegioN to help facilitate collaborations. A private lunch with the Governor and Prime Minister was quite enjoyable, and a meeting with NGlobal, Lower Saxony’s economic development organization led to an agreement by NGlobal to bring a multi-industry delegation to Seattle next year, anchored by our conference, Life Science Innovation Northwest.

A bus ride to Hamburg, allowed many of us to get a quick power nap in, so we could be fresh for a reception at the US Consulate in Hamburg.

Today, should also prove productive. I am off to meet with Norgenta, the WBBA of Hamburg state, and then some meetings on renewable energy before we head back to the state’s tomorrow, where I am off to BIO, and another very productive week telling people about our state’s great life science sector! I have a great job!!!

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A few more pictures…

From Gov. Chris Gregoire:

I wanted to include a few more pictures of the trip… Below is a picture of me and the governor of Lower Saxony in Germany outside of the International Neuroscience Institute in Hannover. They tell me they shaped the building to look like a brain… I think you have to use your imagination a bit. Also below is a picture of me speaking at the summit, and witnessing the signing of the memorandum of understanding. I also included a picture of the great story in the Paris Air Show daily publication. That story was likely read by some of the most influential in aerospace!





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Arrived in Germany!

From Gov. Gregoire:

Guten Tag! After three long days in Paris — I’m still feeling a tad guilty about subjecting our WA delegation to a 4am wake up call this morning to ensure we arrived in Germany on time. A lot of sleepy eyes boarded the bus this morning to the airport – but by arrival, we were all in good spirits. Me especially — not only did my baggage arrive at the airport (I was nervous after my flight to Madrid!), but we finally saw some sun! It feels like it’s been raining this entire trip… Additionally, I was made aware this morning that Washington state’s work to build our composite sector was prominently featured in one of the daily magazines distributed to thousands of aerospace industry leaders at the Paris Air Show! Our composite industry has now gained world-wide attention – and I couldn’t be happier. The exposure we received through that article is immeasurable – and the headline is fantastic: “Washington seeks to become Silicon Valley of Composites.” I hope to get a link to the article posted soon…

As soon as we landed in Germany, we wasted no time getting to work. I joined our life-sciences delegation to attend an international summit on life sciences in Hannover. There – the Washington Biotechnology and Biomedical Association’s Chris Rivera not only celebrated his 50th birthday (happy birthday Chris!), but I also witnessed as he signed a memorandum of understanding to collaborate with his counter-parts in Germany to ensure advancement and job-growth for both regions. And they’re wasting no time collaborating! Life science leaders from Germany have agreed to visit Washington state in July, 2012 for our annual life sciences summit.

I also met with the Governor of Lower Saxony to discuss other opportunities for collaboration. We had a great discussion – and look forward to a future visit from him to Washington state. While I conducted those meetings – our aerospace representatives met with their Germany counterparts to discuss ways to strengthen our training programs.

All in all — a great day. Tomorrow – we wrap up the trade mission with a tour of Hamburg’s Airbus facility to ensure the plane manufacturer uses Washington aerospace suppliers. We also visit a composite research center. More about the trip soon!

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The Mission continues in Germany…

From Rogers Weed, Director of the Washington State Department of Commerce:

We wrapped up our time in France with visits to energy, automotive and life sciences companies and organizations. France, like Washington state, has an energy system with a very low carbon footprint since nuclear energy and renewables make up the vast majority of the energy generation.

The Governor visited with senior leaders of both Areva and Électricité de France (EdF) since both have significant investments in our state (EdF via their US renewable subsidiary, enXco and Areva via their nuclear fuel assembly operation in Richland). We discussed Fukushima and high water in the Columbia River and assured both companies that we value their investment in Washington.

We also introduced some of our software and services companies to French automobile manufacturers, where we began a dialogue on cooperation between our Washington Biotech and Biomedical Association (WBBA) and some of the leading cancer research organizations in the Paris region. All in all, it was very productive. And now, we’re in Germany for our big finish!


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Absolutely Amazing!

From Mary Kaye Bredeson, Director, Center of Excellence for Aerospace:

Absolutely Amazing! These two words do not even come close to the collective feelings shared by those of us who are here at the 49th Paris Air Show representing “Air Washington”. The exhibits, the networking opportunities, viewing the latest and greatest emerging trends and more importantly, witnessing the fierce competition from 15 other states who are here to win aerospace OEMS and the supply chain companies that support them. Their presence and keen exhibits truly exemplify their intentions of pulling out all the stops to lure not only our aerospace companies but others as well to do business in their state. I only hope our related message that we will be bringing back to Washington “do not take our aerospace jobs for granted” is listened to and acted upon.

The last few days we have been privileged to watch and hear our Governor meet with Aerospace leaders and many International Aerospace companies touting the collaboration that the Washington State legislature and the Governor herself accomplished this last session in support of Aerospace jobs and training in Washington. She is listening to what industry needs. This makes a difference to those companies here selling their products and services. Air Washington is here to share the same message. Come to Washington, we not only listen, we act on it! I concur with a statement made recently by Dr. William Bonaudi, President of Big Bend Community College, Moses Lake, and Board Chair of the Center of Excellence for Aerospace Advisory Board, “When we’re successful in interpersonal interactions its usually because we actively listen at least as much as we speak.  Working with the international aerospace community is the opportunity to practice these skills to the utmost.  We have great talent to offer and will be successful only if we listen carefully to the needs and concerns of our aerospace community.  I’m impressed with the collection of talent represented by all of our aerospace colleges and our ability to collaborate to offer the best services found anywhere.”

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Wrapping up our time in Paris…

From Gov. Gregoire:

I truly thought that once we wrapped up our work at the Paris Air Show, my schedule might calm down a bit. I was also confident the sun would finally come out! Boy was I wrong on both fronts…  Day 3 in Paris was just as busy as the last two – and covered a wide range of Washington industries, from renewable energy, to automotive technology to life sciences. And we raced from meeting to meeting in rain showers, yet again… What a whirlwind — but one that I remain optimistic will lead to future expansion, and ultimately job growth, down the road.

I started my day joined by Carl Adrian – the leader of the economic development engine for the Tri-Cities area. We met with the CEO of Areva – a company with a strong presence in the Mid-Columbia area – to discuss possible expansion. Areva is a leader in renewable energy – and a company looking to grow. This was a good opportunity to remind Areva executives the advantages of expanding here, and encourage them to work with us they grow their company.

That meeting was followed by two important meetings for our delegates representing our automotive technology sector. I was able to introduce them to executives at Renault and Peugoet – two major car manufacturers – and gave them the opportunity to sell their products. Our Washington automotive companies are incredibly innovative and impressive – and the rest of the world needs to hear about them! They sure did today… I ended my day with a second meeting with a renewable energy company, followed by a discussion on life-sciences with a Paris organization leading in cancer research to explore ways we could work together in the future.

I have to say that Paris was nothing but a major success. I’m still thrilled with the meetings conducted at the Paris Air Show – they were incredibly helpful in sharing the advantages of Washington state when it comes to aerospace – and we left with some fantastic announcements! And today’s agenda was equally as important.

Tomorrow we head to Germany! Early!! I have a 4 a.m. wake-up call to leave the hotel at 5 a.m. And once we land – it’s right to work! We head straight to our first event – an international life sciences summit in Hannover. At least the forecast calls for sun! I’ll have more updates soon….

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Great Success

The Washington State delegation’s participation in the Paris Air Show has been a great success.  We were able to demonstrate to the entire aerospace world why Washington State is well-positioned to continue to be the largest aerospace cluster in the world.  With great support and the leadership of Governor Gregoire and our Commerce leadership, the many state aerospace companies had a terrific opportunity to broaden existing relationships and develop new potential customers.  Our Air Washington coalition of aerospace education organizations were the only major educational presence at the Air Show. The same is true of our labor organizations, IAM and SPPEA,  which were at the Air Show to describe with pride  the advanced training and unparalleled experience and capacity.  They also described the many areas in which close collaboration between labor union workers and Boeing has helped increase productivity, efficiency  and lasting high quality in the narrow and wide body aircraft coming off the production lines in Renton and Everett.  One of Boeing’s top leaders, Ray Connor, took time out to meet with us and exchange ideas as to how we can grow our workforce and improve competitiveness.  At the Air Show Boeing continues to dominate the wide body market.  There was intense media speculation about the timing and features of any possible successors to the popular 737 series.  Our Boeing friends were very clear they are more focused on taking the time needed to get it right than rush out a decision.  Walking around the Air Show brought home why getting it right is critical. In addition to Airbus, China, Russia, Canada, and Brazil are showcasing many alternate jets to try and take the 737 market share.  We in the Washington State delegation also had an eye-opening experience visiting the many state pavillons which are targeting Washington State and seeking to lure future Boeing aircraft facilities to their states, which include Oklahoma, North and South Carolina, Missouri and others.  This helps motivate all of us as we return home to keep in mind the paramount importance of working together as one state to promote our uniquely qualified workforce, innovation and efficiency.  The realities of the global competition make it important we work in all areas of aerospace to control costs and maximize efficiency in all aspects of the aerospace supply chain, product development and aircraft assembly.  This shared experience at the Air Show confirmed that if we pull together as one state, there are no limits at our potential to grow our aerospace cluster and in so doing retain and grow middle class and family wage jobs for future generations.  I am excited to help with many others in seizing this future for our state.

Tayloe Washburn
Senior Adviser to the Governor, Project Pegasus Foster Pepper PLLC

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Report on Day Two from Paris Air Show

Despite a rail strike in Paris and continuing rain, Day Two of the Air Show is launched.  The Boeing Company announced a large number of sales on Day One, which is good news for Washington.

The newly-launched Pegasus Project is being discussed here at the Paris Air Show both with the 55 Washington aerospace companies and organizations here, as well as other Air Show attendees.  I have also discussed the work underway at the Washington Aerospace Partnership on taking our state’s workforce development capability to a new level.  Talks with representatives of Air Washington, a coalition of Washington education facilities dedicated to aerospace training and certification, here have brought home our state’s objective of becoming THE global center for aerospace worker training.  The Washington State pavilion has a prominent location in the US pavilion here at the Air Show.  Other US states and regions are also out in force here, which is a helpful reminder that all of us in Washington must work very proactively and diligently to maintain and grow our aerospace cluster in the years ahead, and keep our competitive edge in workforce and innovation.  It is terrific to have so many smaller aerospace companies with Washington facilities here promoting their products.

Tayloe Washburn
Senior Adviser to the Governor, Project Pegasus Foster Pepper PLLC

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What a day…

From Gov. Chris Gregoire:

24 hours. 25 aerospace companies. About 100 executives. That pretty much sums up our time at the Paris Air Show. After spending two 12-hour, rain-soaked days at the show – I’m feeling relief and extreme satisfaction. I’m incredibly pleased with the positive tone of each of our business meetings, and I’m convinced that the world’s most successful aerospace companies fully know the advantages of doing business in Washington state. We set out to create new jobs for Washingtonians — and we know we have had immediate success. From the announcement by Heath Tecna – to Dassault’s decision to locate it’s NW hub in Seattle, our aerospace industry has grown during our time in Paris. That doesn’t even include Boeing’s $10+ billion in new contracts during the first day! And we know the long-term benefits of trade missions like these often take months to develop.

I certainly thank our talented and hard-working delegation. They braved heavy rain-showers, long train rides and massive crowds to help sell our highly-trained workforce and our expertise in aerospace. They have truly been fabulous to work with, and have represented Washington well.

Tomorrow we wrap up our last day in Paris! Our focus will shift a bit as we look to grow and expand our renewable energy, automotive and life-sciences sector. More to come soon!

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Great news from Heath Tecna

From Rich Ballantyne, Heath Tecna president & CEO and Gary Chris, Heath Tecna vice president, Sales and Marketing

Heath Tecna, one of Washington’s main aerospace manufacturers, was pleased to have two pieces of good news to share at the Paris Air Show today.  First, Heath Tecna announced that it was recently awarded a major contract with Austrian Airlines to upgrade and reconfigure six Boeing 767-300 and four 777-200 interiors.  Heath Tecna was also pleased to announce its partnership with Korean Airlines for the supply of bars, sofas, and other furnishings, to be installed on ten A380 superjumbos as part of the airline’s Prestige class.  These types of awards indicate the strength of Washington’s aerospace sector, and Heath Tecna is a proud contributor to that strength.  We appreciated the state’s support of our efforts.  The Governor’s meetings with Austrian Airlines senior executives and her continued support of Heath Tecna’s new employee training program through the Workforce Investment Act are tangible demonstrations of ongoing commitment to Washington’s aerospace industry.

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Welcome Dassault Systemes!

Just wrapped up my meeting with Dassault Systemes and they shared some fantastic news! The world leader in 3D and Product Lifestyle Management solutions who supplies Boeing just leased office space in Seattle to serve as it’s NW hub. This news means a strong commitment to WA, and the company plans to expand here – which means more job growth for our aerospace industry! The picture below is me with Dassault executives as they shared the good news…


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Local success!

Just joined Bellingham-based Heath Tecna to announce a significant contract with Austrian Air to reconfigure the interiors of 10 Boeing planes. The contract means about 75 jobs for this WA state aerospace supplier. Fantastic news!

We have another busy day in store for us that got off to a hectic start for our delegation. A strike by train workers made it difficult to get to the show. We have about a dozen face to face meetings scheduled for today. Looking forward to more success stories!

The picture below is the CEO of Heath Tecna and executives of Austrian Air sealing the deal with a handshake!


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Wanted to share a few snapshots from today before I call it a night and do it all over again tomorrow! Below are pictures of me with Boeing’s Jim Albaugh, with executives at COMAC, and doing a live interview on CNBC.






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