Jeff Humphrey

Landing More High-Tech Jobs

Jeff Humphrey, Media Manager, 509.625.6308

Tuesday, May 14, 2024 at 3:25 p.m.

Spokane’s new mayor is setting her sights on landing more high-tech jobs and industry in our area.

That’s because, in October 2023, the Biden-Harris administration selected Spokane to potentially serve as a new American Aerospace Tech Hub.

“It’s very exciting because it means there’s a focus here on what will potentially be more manufacturing jobs, likely more jobs in the aerospace supply chain, for Spokane and for this region,” said Brown.

However, there are 30 other newly named high tech regions competing for the same millions of dollars in federal grants that would help jump-start Spokane’s new aerospace hub.

That’s why on April 10th, Mayor Brown signed an executive order directing a new economic development priority review policy that will take effect immediately.

That new policy calls for various City of Spokane departments to focus on streamlining the process of promoting rapid, high-tech business development.

“What is the roll of local government? Local government has a key role with respect to permitting, across the spectrum and, delivering the infrastructure so that, when the private sector investment is ready, we are ready,” Brown explained.

Spokane started its checklist to be ready to serve as an aerospace technology hub several years ago, thanks to a group called the “Inland Northwest Consortium”.

The consortium, initiated by Gonzaga University, and in partnership with industry leaders like Boeing and Collins Aerospace, is ready to bring the former Triumph Composites Plant back online, as the new “American Aerospace Materials Manufacturing Center”.

“And so, this is a really key building, out on the West Plains, that’s going to be doing a lot of the R&D, and small parts manufacturing, to hopefully get us off the ground and allow us to really continue to build this aviation and aerospace parts manufacturing industry in the region,” predicted Steve McDonald, Director of Spokane Community and Economic Development Department.

And, there is plenty of room to grow inside the boundaries the West Plains Public Development Authority, along with easy access to interstate and railway shipping routes.

“So this executive order shows that we’re going to double down on our commitment to our city’s economic development strategies, working to foster job creation, opportunities for employment and, continue to diversify our regional economy,” pledged Brown.

Spokane-area leaders recognize the chance catch a new wave of aerospace opportunities in the Pacific Northwest, and, they have already launched several initiatives to make sure our region a high-flying competitor.

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