Urgent Action Needed to Prevent Devastating Aerospace Cuts
On April 5, the Washington State Senate adopted a budget that eliminated the Office of Aerospace. The House of Representatives responded by presenting a budget that retains this important office and expands it by providing an additional $200,000 to support the Statewide Aerospace Strategy. In the days to come, your legislators will be making important decisions about aerospace funding. Please urge them to retain Washington's Aerospace Office.
Please contact your representatives today to urge them to restore funding to Washington’s Aerospace Office. Points from an email circulated by Puget Sound Regional Council (PSRC):
Restore Funding for Aerospace Jobs
Click here to find your Legislator
Click here for a "Letter to Legislator" Template
Click here for a news article about the proposed budget
Click here for a comments from Leeham News
Making a Commitment to the Future: OMAX Corporation Supports Student Manufacturers and Engineers for FIRST Robotics Competition
As manufacturing companies struggle to find skilled workers to fill technical jobs, OMAX Corporation in Kent is working with teens to teach engineering and manufacturing skills, while building relationships that inspire the leaders of the next generation.
Aviation High School Students Liam Burke and Navid Shafa are getting hands-on engineering and manufacturing experience thanks to the FIRST Robotics program and companies like OMAX Corporation, that demonstrate a commitment to the next generation of aerospace workers.
As part of the national robotics competition that kicks off on January 5, teams of students design and build robots that meet strict criteria. Although the students are responsible for all aspects of their robots from budgeting to production, they are encouraged to secure sponsors and work with local companies to buy materials, purchase parts and in many cases design custom parts.
For over five years, OMAX Engineer Kevin Hays has worked with students to cut precision aluminum parts using advanced abrasive waterjet technology. For four hours each Friday during the six week competition, Hays meets with students to cut parts. He has helped students create parts for robots that could “shoot hoops,” “score goals” and more.
In addition to cutting parts for the competition, OMAX Marketing Manager, Sandra McLain invited Burke and Shafa to join her sales team at a National Trade Show in Chicago to showcase their award winning robot. “These young people did such an amazing job,” said McLain. "Our sales people were apprehensive at first, but after the event they suggested getting a bigger booth and having the students with them again next year.”
“People often have the misconception that manufacturing plants are dark, dirty and low-tech places. But nothing could be further from the truth,” said McLain. “We need to let kids know that today’s manufacturing environments are clean, safe and extremely high-tech with computerized machines and manufacturing processes. As the U.S. manufacturing industry continues to grow, OMAX and other companies across the nation are going to need highly skilled workers to fill high-paying positions with opportunities to progress.”
In addition to its work with Aviation High School, OMAX also works alongside several colleges including Kettering University, Renton Technical College, Washington State University and the University of British Columbia, to develop paid internship programs where engineering and technical students can gain highly beneficial on-the-job training prior to graduation.
States Sweeten Jet Makers' Pots
Article from the Wall Street Journal, December 11, 2012
Impact study provides positive news on state's public airports
ARLINGTON – Washington's 135 public airports are continuing to help local economies take flight, generating thousands of jobs and millions of dollars for cities and counties throughout the state. The findings are just a few of the highlights from the recently-released 2012 Aviation Economic Impact Study. The study was conducted by the Washington State Department of Transportation's Aviation Division, which protects and preserves the state's system of public use airports. Data collected for the impact study provides a clear picture of how Washington's public use airports contribute to the economy. "The study helps us take a much closer, detailed look at our system in terms of its economic benefits and provides unique insight from the perspective of the airports, the industry and those who use our services," said Tristan Atkins, WSDOT aviation director. "Ultimately, it's a tool that helps us improve the way we do business." Highlights of the 2012 study include:
"Our last study was completed in 2001, so this also helps us provide some much-needed updates to economic data such as the jobs, wages and types of businesses at each airport," Atkins said. "The 2012 study results speak for themselves – and the message is overwhelmingly positive."
In 2001, airports generated 171,300 jobs, more than $4 billion in wages and $18.5 billion in annual sales. The 2012 study uses different methods to present a more complete picture of the aviation system's economic impacts, resulting in increases of 77,200 jobs, $11.3 billion in wages, and $32.4 billion in sales compared to the 2001 study.
Working to brighten the airports' financial picture even further, WSDOT Aviation is creating an online calculator that will allow users to explore economic development opportunities, attract businesses and weigh investment choices at individual airports. The interactive economic calculator is scheduled to be completed this spring and will integrate with WSDOT's Airport Information System database, which provides an in-depth look at the state's airports.
Monitoring public use airports' impacts is just one of the roles of WSDOT's Aviation Division. WSDOT Aviation is also responsible for integrating aviation with the state's other transportation modes of highways, rail and ferries.
Hyperlinks within this news release:
Kaplanian Report - Commercial Aviation Roundup covers aviation news as prepared by the Future of Flight's Ed Kaplanian
Quarterly Aerospace Bulletin - WA State Dept of Commerce
Evergreen Economic Insider - Blog by NW freelance writer Bryan Corliss - not exclusively aerospace, but strong aerospace content
E-Market Express - Monthly bulletin by the U.S. Commercial Service that provides up-to-date research, trade leads and events