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….
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.
Senior Adviser to the Governor, Project Pegasus Foster Pepper PLLC
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.
Senior Adviser to the Governor, Project Pegasus Foster Pepper PLLC
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!
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.
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…
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!