Commercial Aircraft Interiors General Manager James Barnett stands in a warehouse aisle of 777 overhead bins in 2019 in Arlington. (Andy Bronson / Herald file)

Commercial Aircraft Interiors General Manager James Barnett stands in a warehouse aisle of 777 overhead bins in 2019 in Arlington. (Andy Bronson / Herald file)

12 Snohomish County aero firms get $19M for job protection

The Aviation Manufacturing Jobs Protection grants could save 2,280 Washington jobs for up to six months.

EVERETT — A dozen Snohomish County aviation manufacturing companies will receive more than $19 million in grants from the Aviation Manufacturing Jobs Protection Program, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.

In all, the job-saving program, which is funded through the American Rescue Plan Act, awarded $482 million to 313 aviation manufacturers in 37 states and Puerto Rico. Of that total, 32 companies in Washington received $41 million. Statewide, the grants are expected to save about 2,280 jobs.

The $3 billion Biden administration initiative could help save more than 22,000 aviation manufacturing jobs across the U.S. The grants can be used to pay half the wages of specific employees for up to six months. In return, the business must document spending and agree not to furlough or lay off those workers during the six-month period.

Commercial Aircraft Interiors, which has been refurbishing the interiors of commercial and military airplanes in Arlington for 20 years, learned this week that it qualified for a $187,896 employment protection grant that will help save 14 jobs.

“We’re grateful that we were able to receive this,” said Carlos Veliz, the firm’s business strategist.

In May 2019, with orders rolling in, the company hoped to boost its roster of 80 employees, Veliz said. It had recently expanded and relocated from five smaller buildings to one 180,000-square-foot Arlington building.

When the COVID-19 pandemic extinguished air travel last year, Commercial Aircraft Interiors laid off 66% of its workforce, letting go 53 workers.

“At the peak of COVID, we got down to 27 employees,” Veliz said. To tighten the belt even further, the company vacated the Arlington warehouse and relocated to Burlington in Skagit County. It now employs 46.

“We are seeing things come back on line. But it’s going to take time for the airline industry to come out of this, and there could be another slip,” Veliz said.

“With aviation manufacturing not targeted to recover until well into 2022, at the earliest, the aviation protection program will help in hiring back some of those workers and staving off further layoffs at a critical time,” said U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell who led the effort to secure aviation manufacturing funding in the American Rescue Plan which passed in March.

“In Washington state, an estimated 2,280 jobs will be protected as a result of this funding, from small machine shops to larger suppliers of aircraft components,” Cantwell said.

U.S Rep. Rick Larsen, D-Everett, and U.S. Rep. Ron Estes, a Republican from Kansas, authored the bipartisan bill on which the Aviation Jobs Protection Program is based.

“For the past year and a half, our aviation industry workers have helped keep this economy moving, including by supporting the delivery of lifesaving medical equipment and vaccines,” Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said in an agency statement. “The funding will save jobs and support the workers who have supported us throughout the pandemic.”

Buttigieg noted that of the 313 grant recipients, 188 had fewer than 100 employees.

The nation’s aerospace industry laid off an estimated 100,000 workers last year and furloughed another 220,000 due to the COVID-19-induced downturn in air travel.

Elliott Black, who directs the aviation jobs protection program, visited Snohomish County in August and heard from aviation company executives, including Veliz of Commercial Aircraft Interiors, and union representatives at a roundtable discussion held at Everett Community College.

Washington is home to more than 1,500 aerospace companies, including some 200 in Snohomish County.

The results of a second round of funding are expected to be announced later this year.

Snohomish County recipients:

Everett:

• Walter Dorwin Teague Associates in Everett will receive $1.4 million, protecting an estimated 43 jobs.

• Onamac Industries will receive $532,532, protecting 31 jobs.

• Valence will receive $359,086, protecting 20 jobs.

• Precision Fuel Components will receive $39,400, protecting three jobs.

Mukilteo:

• Electroimpact will receive $4.1 million, protecting 109 jobs.

• King Machine will receive $184,511, protecting 14 jobs.

Mill Creek:

• Sealth Aero Marine will receive $246,191, protecting 10 jobs.

Arlington

• Senior Operations will receive $10.9 million, protecting 630 jobs.

• Commercial Aircraft Interiors, formerly located in Arlington, will receive $187,896, protecting 14 jobs.

Marysville:

• Safran Cabin Materials in Marysville will receive $755,619, protecting 125 jobs.

Lynnwood:

• L&E Tubing, with locations in Lynnwood and Kent, will receive $154,332, protecting nine jobs.

Talk to us

More in Herald Business Journal

Homes in The Point subdivision border the construction of the Go East Corp. landfill on Wednesday, Nov. 10, 2021 in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Mudslide briefly stalls housing project at former Everett landfill

The slide buried two excavators in September. Work has resumed to make room for nearly 100 new houses.

Ameé Quiriconi, Snohomish author, podcaster and entrepreneur.  (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Snohomish author’s handbook charts a course for female entrepreneurs

She’s invented sustainable concrete, run award-winning wedding venues and worked in business… Continue reading

FILE - In this June 12, 2017, file photo, a Boeing 787 airplane being built for Norwegian Air Shuttle is shown at Boeing Co.'s assembly facility, in Everett, Wash. Boeing is dealing with a new production problem involving its 787 jet, in which inspections have found flaws in the way that sections of the rear of the plane were joined together. Boeing said Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2020, it's not an immediate safety risk but could cause the planes to age prematurely. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)
FAA memo reveals more Boeing 787 manufacturing defects

The company said the problems do not present an immediate safety-of-flight issue.

A final environmental cleanup is set to begin next year at the ExxonMobil and ADC properties, neighboring the Port of Everett. Photo courtesy of the Washington State Department of Ecology.
Port of Everett to get $350K for its costs in soil clean-up

The end is finally in sight for a project to scrub petroleum from two waterfront parcels, owned by ExxonMobil and ADC.

Shawn Loring, owner of Lazy Boy Brewing, received $10,000 through Everett's federal CARES Act funding.  (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Everett, Snohomish breweries to open on Everett waterfront

Lazy Boy Brewing and Sound to Summit see a bright future at the port’s Waterfront Place.

A woman walks by models of Boeing Co. aircraft, including the manufacturer's new Boeing 777X, at the Dubai Air Show in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021. (AP Photo/Jon Gambrell)
India’s Akasa Air buys engines worth $4.5 billion for new 737 Maxs

Boeing clinched a deal at the Dubai Air Show to sell 72 of the jets for some $9 billion.

FAA Administrator Steve Dickson speaks to lawmakers as Michael Stumo, holding a photo of his daughter Samya Rose Stumo, and his wife Nadia Milleron, sit behind him during a Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation hearing on the implementation of aviation safety reform at the US Capitol in Washington on Wednesday, Nov. 3, 2021. Samya Stumo was among those killed in a Boeing 737 Max 8 crash in 2019. (AP Photo/Amanda Andrade-Rhoades)
FAA says Boeing is appointing people lacking expertise to oversee airplane certification

The company was replacing senior FAA-authorized engineers who took early retirement during the pandemic.

FILE - In this Wednesday, July 17, 2019, file photo, Rep. Angie Craig, D-Minn., center, talks with Paul Njoroge, right, who lost his wife and three young children, as Michael Stumo, left, who lost his daughter, looks on before the start of a House Transportation subcommittee hearing on aviation safety, on Capitol Hill in Washington. The year since the crash of an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 Max has been a journey through grief, anger and determination for the families of those who died, as well as having far-reaching consequences for the aeronautics industry as it brought about the grounding of all Boeing 737 Max 8 and 9 jets, which remain out of service. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)
Boeing settles with Ethiopia 737 Max crash victims

The agreement allows victims’ families to pursue claims in U.S. courts instead of their home country.

Dennie Willard, a Navy veteran, became homeless in 2014 and began job training through HopeWorks at Renew Home and Decor. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Looking for his ‘last job,’ veteran found new work, new life

U.S. Navy veteran Dennis Willard, once homeless, now works for the nonprofit that helped him.

People hold signs in protest of the vaccine mandate along Airport Road next to Boeing on Friday, Oct. 15, 2021 in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Report: 11,000 Boeing workers seek vaccination exemptions

Reuters says executives are scrambling to balance a company and federal mandate with the need to retain workers.

Port of Everett CEO Lisa Lefeber points back to the new retail site at Fisherman's Harbor at Waterfront Place during a groundbreaking ceremony on Monday, Nov. 8, 2021 in Everett, Washington. The project will construct two new buildings to house the new Asian-inspired Fisherman Jack’s restaurant, South Fork Bakery, and three marine-related offices adjacent to the new Waterfront Place Apartments and Hotel Indigo.
 (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Port of Everett breaks ground on a new ‘restaurant row’

American-Chinese restaurant Fisherman Jack’s and South Fork Bakery are two businesses that will call the waterfront home.

A private plane taxis past the Paine Field passenger terminal on Wednesday, Nov. 3, 2021 in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Forecast: A quadrupling of Paine Field passengers by 2040

How should Everett’s airport handle rebounding demand? A virtual meeting is set for Tuesday to talk about a master plan.