Cantwell promotes aerospace jobs

By:  Rob Hotakainen
Source: The News Tribune

WASHINGTON – A day after she chaired a hearing in Seattle that focused on aerospace jobs, Democratic Sen. Maria Cantwell of Washington state today is headed to Vancouver, where she plans to host a roundtable discussion with community leaders to examine strategies to keep the aerospace industry competitive.

According to Cantwell, the state’s aerospace industry currently employs 83,700 people, representing more than one-sixth of all aerospace workers in the nation. And last year, she said, Washington state exported more than $23.3 billion in aerospace products, 30 percent of all U.S. aerospace exports.

In Seattle on Monday, Cantwell chaired a Senate Aviation Subcommittee field hearing, where aviation leaders in the state discussed a skills gap among aerospace workers. Cantwell said the state will need 21,000 new aerospace workers over the next 10 years due to increased demand, retirements and new technology.

At 11 a.m. today, Cantwell is scheduled to host a roundtable discussion at Pearson Air Museum in Vancouver with aerospace employers and science educators.