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Inslee, industry, labor, and local leaders launch statewide Choose Washington Council for the New Market Airplane

December 20, 2017

Story 

Gov. Jay Inslee today launched a statewide council to grow and preserve aerospace jobs and strengthen the aerospace supply chain by securing the design, production, and final assembly of Boeing’s middle-of-the-market New Market Airplane in Washington state. The announcement follows a meeting today with stakeholders representing labor, industry, counties, and state agencies.

The Choose Washington NMA Council will help make the case that Washington state’s aerospace workforce offers the quickest to profitability and lowest risk location risk for Boeing to successfully design and build the NMA. The council is also tasked with a consensus approach to identify programs, policies, and initiatives to help secure the NMA and also serve the needs of Washington workers and communities. 

Echoing his previous public statement on the NMA dating back to the Governor’s Aerospace Summit in September, Inslee reached out to stakeholders with aligned interests in preserving and growing aerospace jobs in Washington State.  

“Washington state is the best place for Boeing to build the NMA, bar none, and I’m looking forward to making that case directly” Inslee said. “I also look forward to this council helping to enhance our workforce systems to create more opportunities for workers across industries and a more flexible and cross-trained workforce for industry.”

“The machinists union members at Boeing work hard every day producing airplanes and profits for the company. We know siting the NMA here in Washington state gives Boeing the greatest opportunity for a successful launch of the new airplane program,” said Machinists 751 President Jon Holden. “We look forward to working with others who share our goals on the Choose Washington NMA Council to make that happen.”

"We are excited about the possibilities that lie ahead with the governor's council, and see a bright future for the aerospace industry, the state's economy, workers, and Boeing as we work toward a positive outcome for Washington state,” said Kelly Maloney, president and CEO of the Aerospace Futures Alliance. “AFA has also developed a stand-alone NMA task force comprised of board members representing industry and economic development entities." 

The NMA represents an opportunity to further Washington’s leadership in the aerospace sector while also improving our workforce and education systems to give workers mobility across industries and the skills to keep up with technological changes. 

“King County has been a global leader in aerospace since the earliest days of flight. Employers, educators, labor, and regional government have all come together to support the aircraft manufacturing industry and help job seekers navigate career paths,” King County Executive Dow Constantine said. “I appreciate Gov. Inslee convening the Choose Washington NMA Council to secure the next generation of Boeing planes. Washington is clearly the best place in the nation to build airplanes, and I look forward to working with regional partners to tell our story.”

“Working with the governor and leaders across the state to ensure Boeing’s New Market Airplane lands here is one of my top priorities. It’s of vital importance to the economic success of Snohomish County, our region and Washington state,” Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers said.

“Securing the NMA for Washington State is important for the future growth of aerospace in Pierce County and throughout the state,” said Pierce County Executive Bruce Dammeier. “I look forward to working together to make our case that Washington is the best possible location for this new aircraft.”

“The Spokane Region’s manufacturing base has a proud history of providing components and services to the aerospace industry, including directly to Boeing Commercial Airplanes. We are committed to working with our partners across the state, including educators, legislators, aerospace workers and municipal partners, to ensure that Washington remains the preeminent location for this exciting new Boeing program,” said Robin Toth of Greater Spokane Incorporated.

“The engineers, technical workers and pilots of SPEEA have the proven experience the NMA needs,” said Ryan Rule, president of the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace. “We stand ready to support efforts to keep this work in Washington and grow our state’s aerospace industry.”

The full Choose Washington Council will be named at a later date. Members invited to today’s meeting:

  • Dow Constantine, King County Executive
  • Bruce Dammeier, Pierce County Executive
  • Dave Somers, Snohomish County Executive
  • Larry Brown, International Association of Machinists 751
  • Kelly Maloney, Aerospace Futures Alliance
  • Robin Toth, Greater Spokane Incorporated
  • Brian Bonlender, Washington State Department of Commerce
  • Chelsea Orvella, SPEEA

Leading the world in commercial aircraft production for the last century, Washington state has a highly skilled workforce and a deep history of supply chain knowledge. More than 90 percent of all commercial aircraft in the United States undergo finally assembly here in Washington. In addition, the state has made key investments in its workforce and taken steps to ensure that capabilities for handling new technology being developed for the 777X composite wing, also needed for the NMA, take place here, keeping Washington the center of gravity for commercial aerospace for another generation.  

With more than 1,400 aerospace suppliers and a highly skilled workforce numbering more than 136,000, Washington is without question the best choice for the design, production, and final assembly of a new commercial aircraft program.

Media Contact 

Tara Lee
Governor Inslee’s Communications Office
360.902.4136