Gov. Jay Inslee today responded to news that the Manufacturing Communities Partnership Program led by the U.S. Commerce Department has designated the Puget Sound as one of 12 “Manufacturing Communities” in the nation, a designation that will provide support to grow manufacturing jobs and increase international trade and exports.
“Aerospace provides one thing that fewer and fewer industries can offer: large numbers of high-paying manufacturing jobs. The aerospace industry in Washington state holds tremendous power in that regard as well as opportunity for future growth. This fact was recognized today by the U.S. Department of Commerce, which designated the Puget Sound region and seven counties across our state as one of 12 Manufacturing Communities in the United States.
“Washington is home to the largest aerospace cluster in the world, with over 132,000 employees and more than 1,350 firms. With this Manufacturing Community designation, our industry will receive strategic assistance and preferential status for two years on applications for $1.3 billion in federal grants. Such programs will support implementation of the Washington State Aerospace Strategy, the Puget Sound Regional Council’s Regional Economic Strategy and other efforts throughout the state to grow this key source of family-wage manufacturing jobs.
“I would like extend my thanks and congratulations to the broad coalition from labor, industry, economic development organizations, education, and congressional partners across the state who supported this effort, and to the Puget Sound Regional Council who coordinated the application. Over 60 letters of commitment were submitted outlining many of the state’s programs that train workers, support suppliers, and secure new investment. The breadth of support demonstrates the outstanding level of cooperation for which Washington’s aerospace industry cluster is known around the world.”