Governor Inslee, Mayor Brown and More Show Support for AAMMC Tech Hub

Through a series of local events and media appearances, leaders in the Spokane-Coeur d’Alene area and the State of Washington have demonstrated support and excitement for the AAMMC Tech Hub designation and phase 2 application.

On February 15th, 2024, Mayor Lisa Brown expressed how the City of Spokane will continue to provide support in an article in the Spokane Journal of Business.

“The city plans to be a very active partner as we move forward in both further federal investments but also recruitment of the companies and the workforce development initiatives,” Brown says. “The tech hub designation and having the former Triumph site ready to go will help attract new or expanding companies. The city will help by designating a tech hub overlay zone, which will help with any remaining permitting or regulatory issues that arise,” says Brown.

When companies are looking to expand or relocate, identifying a site and meeting infrastructure, broadband, utilities, power, and wastewater requirements can take a lot of time, Brown explains. “We’re basically doing all of that in advance with the site on the West Plains,” she says. “That’s what will make us more competitive.”

At separate event, a roundtable discussion hosted by Gonzaga University with Governor Jay Inslee, Mayor Brown also emphasized the hub is a top priority for Spokane. “We have the site, we have the partnerships, we have the advanced research. It’s really ready to be an anchor of growth of the sector for the whole region.”

Governor Jay Inslee also expressed support for the effort, stating:

“I think we’re on to something really good here, and I’m here to listen to how the state of Washington can help advance this cause, particularly to have the skillset we know is going to be needed, mostly by our young people, and developing these high-tech solutions.” Governor Inslee also noted the Tech Hubs role in the clean economy and the how it will meet some of the goals of the Climate Commitment Act.

Inslee was quick to point out the deep history Washington state has in aerospace and aviation manufacturing, while praising the Inland Northwest in particular for strides it’s made in evolving along with technology to support important regional industries and educating much-needed workers in high-tech fields.

Roundtable moderator and Gonzaga President Thayne McCulloh added, “This is a unique opportunity, not only for the Inland Northwest, but nationally,” McCulloh said. “There is no other Tech Hub that is specifically focused on aerospace manufacturing. Most of them are focused on other industries. So really what we’re doing here is acknowledging that for many years aircraft components have been developed in this region, and that there is an opportunity and a thirst for what we believe is growth and development as a result.”

The roundtable event had participants from several other leaders within the AAMMC tech hub effort, including:

Other AAMMC hub members have been actively engaging with the Spokane-Coeur d’Alene community in both the planning and promotion of the AAMMC Tech Hub.

Machinists Institute, and the Spokane Workforce Council | Fox 28

In an interview with Fox 28,  Jason Trosine from the Machinists Institute highlighted their commitment to training the current and future workforce in aerospace manufacturing and automotive machinists. Aligning their mission with the goals of the hub, the Machinists are interested in creating training spaces and enacting clean economy initiatives. Their North Idaho training facility and mobile training unit enable flexible training opportunities, and showcase a unique opportunity to support workforce development and sustainable practices in the region.

Spokane Workforce Development Council and NIMA Alliance | Fox 28

Mark Mattke CEO of the Spokane Workforce Development Council and Mark Norton from the Northwest I-90 Manufacturing Alliance discussed the strong existing manufacturing base in Spokane and how the AAMMC Tech Hub application can help strengthen the manufacturing and job opportunities in the region moving forward.

ATC Manufacturing & Lakeside Companies on NW Aerospace News Live

ATC Manufacturing representative David Leach, and Lakeside Companies representative Maria Lusardi, also discussed the goals and nuances of the tech hub. David Leach, ATC manufactures aerospace components using highly reinforced thermoplastic composites. While these thermoplastic composites have become established in many aircraft parts, the next step forward is to apply these materials into a larger scale on the next generation of aircraft.