Co-chairs announced for Choose Washington NMA Council

Rick Bender and Dr. Noel Schulz to lead effort to win new Boeing jet

Efforts to land Boeing’s new midmarket airplane for Washington state are gaining steam.

Last week Governor Inslee’s Choose Washington NMA Council announced the two co-chairs who will spearhead the Council’s work: Dr. Noel Schulz and Rick Bender.

Dr. Noel Schulz is a professor in the WSU School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture.

Rick Bender served as president of the Washington State Labor Council for 17 years and was a longtime state legislator.

The Choose Washington NMA Council aims to make the case that Washington state’s aerospace workforce offers the quickest profitability and lowest location risk for Boeing to successfully design and build the NMA.

Supporting statewide efforts on the NMA is a key implementation action for the region’s economic strategy, Amazing Place.

Washington state is the nation’s leader in aerospace. The industry generates over $69 billion in economic activity annually and supports 136,100 direct jobs at 1,400 related companies statewide.

In June 2017, Boeing revealed early details of its potential new airplane. The new jet could serve medium range routes between 3,000-5,200 nautical miles, or 10 hours of flight. It would seat between 220 and 270 passengers. The widebody jet is expected to feature composite wings that could be built at the Composite Wing Center in Everett. 

Boeing has established the NMA program office in Renton, but hasn't decided on the location of the design, production or final assembly of the airplane.