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Published: Monday, July 9, 2012, 6:09 p.m.

Aero suppliers to bring up to 175 jobs to county

Snohomish County will gain aerospace jobs following announcements Monday by suppliers at the Farnborough International Airshow near London.
Italy-based Umbra Group said it will move into a larger facility in Everett, which will enable the company to add as many as 100 employees. A subsidiary, Umbra Cuscinetti Inc., will relocate to a larger, 68,000-square-foot facility in Everett, just north of Paine Field.
"We are delighted to invest capital and acquire additional human resources in the Everett area that will enable us to meet the challenges of the ever-changing global markets," Valter Baldaccini, president of the Umbra Group, said in a statement.
Although Umbra closed the deal on the new facility at 6707 Hardeson Road in June, the company is leasing the building back to Majestic Glove until Oct. 1, said Victoria Van Zile, a spokeswoman for Umbra, which designs and manufactures precision bearings. The company plans to do major renovations. The transition to the new facilty should be complete by next July, she said.
Gov. Chris Gregoire was in England for Umbra's announcement. The governor led a delegation of 48 representatives of the state's aerospace companies, education institutions and government agencies to the air show, which is held every other year.
Also adding jobs in the state will be Fokker Aerostructures. In a call Monday with reporters, Gregoire said the Dutch company plans to add 10 engineers and up to 70 workers in Mukilteo. The company's focus in Washington primarily will be on research development for lightweight airplane structures.
Also on Monday, ASCO Design Center USA announced it has signed a lease for an engineering office in Mukilteo. The subsidiary of ASCO Industries NV/SA of Belgium says the new location will improve service for customers of high-lift devices for aircraft leading and trailing edges and mechanical assemblies.
ASCO's Mukilteo location will open with five employees, but the company plans to expand, according to an Economic Alliance Snohomish County press release.
"This new location provides ASCO an opportunity to grow and expand, while bringing more jobs to our region," Troy McClelland, president of the alliance, said in the release. "It also is a continued demonstration of the region's ability to support the technical workforce needs of our aerospace industry."
Gregoire also met with executives at Aerojet, who told her the company will expand its rocket-engine business into Europe. The company already employs 450 high-tech workers at Redmond offices. The new European venture is expected to lead to key subcontracted work for that facility, providing not only revenue growth but job growth for the region.
Finally, Dassault Systèmes signed an agreement with the Washington Board for Community and Technical Colleges to provide 3-D training software to the state's community colleges at a deep discount. Gregoire said the agreement furthers the state's ability to train aerospace workers, which is key to keep and attract aerospace companies. The agreement will allow thousands more students to learn cutting-edge software -- knowledge required by Boeing and other aerospace employers.
Dassault has agreed to sell 1,200 educational licenses for the 3-D training software to the state board for $9,150, or $7.63 per license. Individual colleges have paid between $200 and $350 per license in the past.
"Our community and technical colleges are knowledge-producers for the aerospace industry," said Charlie Earl, executive director of the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges. "This agreement means more students can take what they learn in the classroom directly into the workplace, without the need for extensive, on-the-job training."
Other agreements announced at Farnborough by Snohomish County companies include:
• Lynnwood's Crane Aerospace & Electronics, a segment of Crane Co., announced an agreement has been reached with L-3 Space and Propulsion Systems to develop and market the GreenTaxi Electric Taxi System. The system moves a commercial aircraft on the ground without using the aircraft's main engines or ground equipment, including tugs. GreenTaxi will provide significant economic and environmental benefits, such as reduced fuel consumption, lower ground operation costs and decreased emissions.
• Bothell's Pacifica Engineering has been selected as a key supplier for Bell Helicopter's new 525 Relentless program. Pacifica will provide tool engineering and tool fabrication to support the manufacture of the 525 Relentless helicopter's drive system and rotor blades.
Michelle Dunlop: 425-339-3454; mdunlop@heraldnet.com.
Story tags » BoeingLocally Based CompanyJobsAerospace

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