The Pacific Northwest’s reputation for building the world’s best airplanes is getting its proper respect , according to U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen, D-Lake Stevens.
Larsen is filling in for Gov. Inslee, who was grounded in Olympia by the Legislature’s failure to launch the next state budget.
Larsen, in a conference call with reporters Monday from the 50th Paris Air Show, had an upbeat tone as news accounts wondered about the role for Boeing’s Everett plant in the final assembly of the 787-10. In the absence of a definitive corporate announcement, Larsen talked about the appreciation he was hearing for Washington at the state’s busy and popular exhibit.
Possibilities come not only from Boeing, but also European companies who want into the supply chain for Boeing and Airbus. Mergers or new facilities that put them close to the action here. Europe is looking a little stodgy these days, and the word is that European manufacturers recognize the need to diversify to sell back to Airbus and be part of Boeing. A dour exchange rate helps fuel their imaginations.
Larsen said Washington needs to be mindful the region competes in a global market for jobs and customers. The state’s efforts to stay competitive via education get noticed. “When we compete, we will win,” Larsen said.
Opportunities abound if we are prepared to respond to them. That is what Washington is doing with STEM education with an eye toward aerospace jobs. Preparation that creates options.