Connecting Aerospace Interests

Inspire Award: Mary Kaye Bredeson | Center of Excellence for Aerospace and Advanced Manufacturing

PNAA’s Inspire Award honors businesses and individuals in the aerospace community that have shown exceptional creativity in working with schools to share the activities of manufacturing in an overall effort to cultivate interest and skills leading to aerospace careers. PNAA’s Board of Directors awarded Mary Kaye Bredeson the 2017 Inspire Award for her dedication to facilitating partnerships between industry and the state’s 34 community and technical colleges as well as other education and training providers, helping to ensure a well-trained and knowledgeable workforce.


MKMary Kaye Bredeson, Executive Director for the Center of Excellence for Aerospace & Advanced Manufacturing (COE), has been a champion of industry, education, and workforce development in Washington for 15 years. Her work intertwining Washington’s community and technical college system with industry partners such as Boeing, Hexcel, Senior Aerospace AMT, Amazon, Fluke, Lockheed Martin Corporation and others has been instrumental in workforce development for aerospace and advanced manufacturing.

Back in 1978, Mary Kaye was one of the first female police officers hired within the state through the civil service process. In the late 1990s she was one of the first women to become a CISCO Certified Networking Instructor. This trailblazing course continued as Mary Kaye was appointed to lead Edmonds Community College’s Construction Industry Trades program with the Tulalip Tribes, resulting in a budget increase from $85,000 to $365,000 and construction of the casino and the new outlet mall. In 2004, she was asked to begin a new project by overseeing the Center of Excellence for Aerospace and Advanced Manufacturing.

In her role, she encourages educational programs, the sharing of industry best practices and resources, as well as providing a clear point of contact for industry employers to share their workforce needs.

“Mary Kaye has been an inspiration for aerospace education since I first met her in 2003 as we were building the Future of Flight Aviation Center,” said PNAA’s CEO Melanie Jordan. “She is a tireless advocate for the industry, and excels in outreach and subsequent teamwork in developing programs, garnering grants, writing curriculum and providing inspiration to all. Mary Kaye is widely known and recognized for her charismatic, proactive leadership and thorough understanding of skilled workforce demands and trends.”

Under Ms. Bredeson’s Leadership, COE has also been the recipient of over 11 grants, totaling over $35.5 million throughout the years that resulted in focused team collaborations between community and technical college faculty and industry subject matter experts to build and enhance curriculum within the aerospace and advanced manufacturing industry.

The COE has been a force of change in Washington’s workforce and economic development landscape. It works to help the community and technical colleges and industry partners within Washington State to build up the industry, and to create a pool of certified students equipped with the knowledge, skills and abilities necessary to meet/exceed industry expectations on both a local and regional level.


Learn more about Mary Kaye Bredeson's work at the Center of Excellence for Aerospace and Advanced Manufacturing


Pacific Northwest Aerospace Alliance

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Redmond, WA 98052

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Pacific Northwest Aerospace Alliance is a non-profit organization that promotes the growth and global competitiveness of the Pacific Northwest Aerospace Cluster. Please consider donating to our scholarship fund.