Will the state’s aerospace office survive budget cuts?

Roughly a year after its creation, the governor’s office of aerospace could be on the state budget chopping block.

The Senate’s proposed budget, which is being voted on this afternoon, would eliminate funding for the office.

Former Gov. Chris Gregoire named the first director, Alex Pietsch, of the aerospace office in March 2012. The office was part of Gregoire’s pitch to Boeing when the state was vying for 737 MAX work in late 2011.

A state competitiveness study, conducted for the 737 MAX competition, also deemed the position vital to keeping Washington focused on the aerospace industry.

Aerospace groups in the state sent out emails and tweets on Friday urging people to communicate with the Senate and restore funding, $245,000, to the 2013-2015 budget.

Bob Drewel, with Prosperity Partnership, called the elimination of funding for the aerospace office a “stunning set-back to our collective efforts to compete for jobs in aerospace.”

Washington Aerospace Partnership, which Drewel helped to create, partially funds the aerospace director position.

The idea of having a state aerospace director originated in 2003 when Washington was competing to win the original 787 final assembly line in Everett. The state was successful in that competition but didn’t create the position. In 2009, Boeing selected North Charleston, South Carolina as the site of a second 787 assembly line.

Gov. Jay Inslee has outlined workforce training and transportation as key issues to winning work on Boeing’s 777X, an updated version of the Everett-built 777 that the company is likely to launch this year.

More in Herald Business Journal

Best foot forward: Ferndale company to make custom shoes easy

Long specializing in insoles, Superfeet is putting 3-D machines in stores to make customized shoes.

Vegas, LA, Phoenix, and more destinations from Paine Field

Alaska Airlines will fly to eight West Coast cities out of Everett starting this fall.

Port of Everett CEO Les Reardanz has been called up and will be spending much of the year away from his office. He is going to Afghanistan. (Dan Bates / The Herald)
Port of Everett CEO reporting for duty — in Afghanistan

Les Reardanz has been called to active duty with the Navy for an eight-month deployment.

Early boarding pass: Everett’s rising passenger terminal

Here’s what to expect when two airlines begin passenger service at Paine Field later this year.

Western group asks Congress for pot biz protection

The group represents Washington, Oregon, Alaska, Hawaii, Montana and Arizona.

Airbus floats shutdown of A380 superjumbo

The aircraft is so big that some airports had to expand runways to accommodate the 550-seat plane.

Trump’s company fights efforts to shed the president’s name

“Our homes are worth more without the Trump name.”

Closing of 63 Sam’s Club stores impacts small business

The retailer has historically prided itself on the services it has provided small business members.

Ford goes ‘all in’ on electric cars with $11 billion investment

That’s up from the $4.5 billion that Ford said in late 2015 it would invest through the end of the decade.

Most Read