Aerospace Futures Alliance (AFA) shares legislative trends and state initiatives to expand aerospace manufacturing

Trend – Government focus while continuing to expand Washington’s aerospace presence across the world.

By Jennifer Ferrero, APR

Kelly Maloney, AFA President and CEO, is highly engaged at the state-level with Governor Inslee and the legislature, and at the community-level with educational institutions.

“We do a lot of the things other aerospace organizations do such as providing opportunities for business-to-business networking, but on top of that we layer on economic development, business growth and attraction, workforce development initiatives across K-12, CTCs and 4-year institutions, and produce an industry magazine: LIFT.” They work on aerospace tax initiatives as well, as part of their broader advocacy on behalf of the aerospace industry. More than 450 aerospace companies have utilized the incentives over the years.

AFA is also working with other associations and businesses in the Pacific Northwest and across the country to create a national aerospace Coalition to address federal, national and regional issues that will be accessible to all levels of business and associations.

At the 2018 Farnborough Air Show, Maloney said that they spent a good deal of time in discussions with businesses considering a move to Washington state.

Maloney was enthusiastic in sharing that they developed, “A lot of new relationships that help with building prosperity in Washington state from an aerospace perspective.”

From a commercial development perspective, AFA is also co-leading the effort to win the proposed Boeing new mid-market aircraft (NMA). One that, if built, will be lighter, less expensive to produce and faster to market. One of their roles is to ensure that the workforce pipeline is feeding future workforce needs.

Maloney said this effort is being done in conjunction with the Washington State Department of Commerce, labor organizations, county executives, industry groups, and others.

AFA is the only aerospace association in Washington providing advocacy for the more than 1400 aerospace and related businesses in the state.

PNAA is focused on student scholarships and the development of the next generation

Trend – Driving more students to careers in aerospace through educational opportunities and providing funding toward the pursuit of education.

By Jennifer Ferrero, APR

PNAA have been engaged with the Pacific Northwest aerospace community for over twenty years through their conferences, B2B, educational and networking events. Through these opportunities they are able to gather and triangulate industry needs with the opportunities being sought out by the next generation.

PNAA believes in the next generation of workers. They have invested time in partnerships and support to fund scholarships and educational opportunities for a variety of students.

Executive Director, Melanie Jordan said, “PNAA has been invested for many years in supporting the next generation workforce through actions!”

The non-profit membership organization supports development for seventh and eighth graders in learning about aerodynamics, and for high school students to participate in FIRST Robotics. They ensure that their members participate as volunteers at events held by partner groups.

“We are continually finding ways to provide inspiration to youngsters which leads them toward aerospace careers,” Jordan said.

Scholarships are where it’s at for PNAA. They work diligently to fund a variety of scholarships that will enable more students to pursue aerospace careers. Jordan said that over the past six years they have raised about $30,000 per year from PNAA members and supporters to fund students seeking an education through a community and technical college or university of their choice. They also continue to fund the Karl Fagan Scholarship, a founding board member of PNAA that passed away unexpectedly. This scholarship also provides student support for industry training.

Another area of interest for PNAA is the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) through their Young Professionals programs for scholarships, volunteers and recruiting industry leaders.

They also focus on the Future of Flight Foundation, the Historic Flight Foundation, and Museum of Flight to “bring the thrill of aviation and aerospace to the next generation of aerospace education,” said Jordan.