Biz week

Recovery will be slow

Snohomish County’s economic recovery will be slow, as it will be for the rest of the state, a Bellingham economist said. Hart Hodges, director of the Center for Economic and Business Research at Western Washington University, told members of the Everett Area Chamber of Commerce that there’s no economic driver to lead us out of the recession quickly. Both consumers and businesses have been slow in spending during this recession, and Hart said he expects that to continue. He also said many of the jobs lost in the recession may be gone for good as businesses try to make do with less. “Permanent layoffs are much higher than normal,” he said of the current recession.

Fixes done: The Boeing Co. said it had completed its structural repairs of the 787 and officials still expect to test the new plane in its first flight before year’s end. That flight was postponed when Boeing found structural weakness in the jet’s fuselage. Modifications were made to strengthen the mostly composite aircraft. New fittings were added at 34 locations along the joint where the wing is attached to the fuselage. The company plans to test the airframe to ensure its handling loads properly and then get the plane in the air for a test flight.

Aerospace center upgrade: Snohomish County is seeking a $500,000 state grant to upgrade the Washington Aerospace Center at Paine Field. The money would be used to resurface the parking lot, add signs and buy technical equipment. The county building is being leased to the Aerospace Futures Alliance, which has signed an operating agreement with Edmonds Community College. Word on whether the county will receive the grant from the state Department of Commerce is expected in early December.

Mike Benbow, Herald Writer