Washington State most competitive location for aerospace manufacturing

Independent report ranks Washington as #1 by wide margin

Washington state is far and away the best location in the U.S. for aerospace design and manufacturing, according to a comprehensive, independent report released today by Gov. Jay Inslee and members of the Choose Washington New Middle-of-the-Market Airplane Council (NMA Council).

The Aerospace Competitive Economics Study was conducted by the Teal Group, led by Vice President of Analysis Richard Aboulafia and Senior Economist Tom Zoretich, and research firm Olympic Analytics.

The Teal report analyzes competitive advantages and disadvantages for aerospace manufacturing in 50 states and Washington DC.

The study uses a rankings system to grade states across 41 metrics, grouped in eight categories, measuring factors relevant to aerospace production, including cost structure, skilled labor availability, global trade connectivity and tax climate.

“Washington has an aerospace supercluster like none other in the country,” Gov. Jay Inslee said. “The Teal report shows that by any measure, Washington is leading the way and offers the most competitive environment and workforce for companies seeking to build world-class planes.”

According to the report, Washington scored extremely well across all categories and was a top ten finisher in all but one.

Chart showing Washington's amazing aerospace productivity

“Aerospace is a cornerstone of the region’s growing economy. Our region produces more commercial aircraft than any other place in the nation. The NMA is an amazing opportunity to reinforce the state’s growing diverse aerospace industry and engage a new generation of top aerospace and tech talent,” said Snohomish County Councilmember Terry Ryan, President of the region’s Economic Development District.

 “We are working hard to land the NMA in Snohomish County, the current home of the most innovative wide-body planes built by the best workforce in the world. If the NMA is built in Snohomish County, it will be good for our region and state. It will also help strengthen our existing supply chain. We appreciate having a better understanding of our relative strengths and weaknesses,” said Dave Somers, Snohomish County Executive and PSRC President.

“Aerospace is a major driver of jobs in Pierce County. In addition to Boeing’s Frederickson Plant and Composites Manufacturing Center, Pierce County is home to over 70 aerospace suppliers. These suppliers will play a critical role in the supply chain for Boeing’s NMA, along with the regional network of 92,000 trained aerospace workers. Winning Boeing’s next aircraft requires a team effort and, as a member in the NMA Council, I’m confident we will be able to take the results of the Teal Group study and help shape a successful proposal,” said Bruce Dammeier, Pierce County Executive and PSRC Vice President.

Top 10 states for aerospace exports

The Choose Washington NMA Council was created by Governor Inslee to demonstrate Washington’s position as the site with the lowest risk and highest return on Boeing’s potential investment to design, produce, and assemble the new airplane.

The NMA Council is led by business, labor, education, economic development and elected leaders, with staff and material support from the Puget Sound Regional Council.

The Choose Washington NMA Council is chaired by Dr. Noel Schulz, a Washington State University engineering professor, and Rick Bender, a former president of the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO.

Download the report