It was just over a hundred years ago when William Boeing first opened the doors of his company in 1916 in Seattle. Today, Washington’s aerospace industry is made up of more than 1,400 companies that support more than 136,000 jobs and has inspired an entire new spin-off industry related to space exploration.
Innovation and exceptionally skilled workers are at the foundation of Washington’s aerospace legacy and Gov. Jay Inslee delivered that message to some of Italy’s top government and aerospace business leaders during his final stop of an 11-day trip to Europe.
While Italy is often known for its delicious food and wine, it’s also home to some of the world’s most sophisticated design and manufacturing companies for motorcycles, cars and airplanes. Italy’s Umbria region is home to a cluster of 35 aerospace companies, and many supply companies with facilities in Washington state including Boeing and Mitsubishi’s MRJ program.
Inslee first traveled to the city of Perugia where he met with President Catiuscina Marini to sign a memorandum of understanding strengthening collaboration with Umbria on aerospace, clean energy and more.
Inslee then visited Perugia’s city hall where deputy mayor Michele Fioroni shared some of the city’s rich history and culture. The city’s beautiful views include the neighboring city of Assisi, home to one of the world’s most famous churches, Saint Francis Basilica.
The governor then traveled to the city of Foligno to meet with aerospace executives at a roundtable lunch. Joined by Foligno Mayor Nando Mismetti, Inslee then toured the Umbra Group’s manufacturing facility and learned about the company’s innovative design and manufacturing processes for crucial components that help planes land safely. He then visited NCM, a company that started with just four employees nearly 30 years ago and now employs about 200 men and women.
“The aerospace industry is made up of global industry leaders with exciting relationships throughout Washington state,” Inslee said. “As we look ahead to continuing our own legacy of excellence, it’s useful and inspiring to see how other regions cultivate a skilled workforce that enables these companies to innovate and grow.”
View photos from the governor’s trip to Italy here: