Thursday, May 14, 2009

Gov. Gregoire signs executive order creating aerospace council

RENTON – Gov. Chris Gregoire today signed an executive order creating the Washington Council on Aerospace. The council will oversee state efforts to ensure that Washington remains the leading location in the world in which to design and build airplanes.

“Washington is the best place in the world to build airplanes, primarily due to the robust aerospace infrastructure we have in place and our highly skilled, productive work force. Our advantages also include a competitive aerospace tax environment, strong aerospace research and development capacity, and this state’s unparalleled quality of life,” Gregoire said. “But in today’s challenging times and with our faltering economy, we need to do more to stay ahead. The aerospace council is designed to ensure we are doing all we can in a sustained way to be even more competitive.”

The governor is also creating an aerospace subcabinet to ensure that decisions made by the council are activated as effectively as possible. Both entities will ensure that Washington is aggressively working to advance technical expertise in aerospace and that the state’s work force is nimble in applying new technologies to building airplanes.

The Council on Aerospace will:

Coordinate and organize the worker-training programs at Washington’s community and technical colleges;
Coordinate the research and development programs at the research universities;
Integrate technologies developed at the research institutions into the training programs;
Manage recruiting and retention of aerospace companies to create jobs and grow the industry; and
Provide advice to the Legislature and to the governor on how Washington can improve its attractiveness to the aerospace industry.
“Aerospace has deep roots in Washington, especially in Renton’s history,” said Renton Mayor Denis Law. “It is critical that Washington remain the leader in the globally competitive aerospace industry, and we are pleased to work with Governor Gregoire and others to ensure that we keep the winning edge in that competition.”

“Aerospace accounts for tens of thousands of jobs and hundreds of millions in revenue,” Gregoire said. “We will make sure our state keeps and grows this industry, and the jobs that support Washington families.”

Members of the Council on Aerospace are:

Rogers Weed, director of the Department of Commerce (chair)
Ann Daley, executive director of the Higher Education Coordinating Board
Charlie Earl, executive director of the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges
Dr. Mark Emmert, president of the University of Washington
Dr. Elson Floyd, president of Washington State University
Sen. Mike Hewitt, R-Walla Walla
Sen. Steve Hobbs, D-Lake Stevens
Rep. Phyllis Kenney, D-Seattle
Stan Sorscher, legislative director for SPEEA (Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace)
David Schumacher, government affairs director of The Boeing Company
Rep. Judy Warnick, R-Moses Lake,
One member representing a labor organization of aerospace Machinists
One member representing aerospace employers in Eastern Washington
One member representing aerospace employers in Western Washington

No comments: