06/20/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 06/20/2019 04:45
'Our trip was productive and focused on advancing active projects currently in the pipeline. Our appointments this week were positive, and there is a strong chance they will lead to job-creating projects,' she said.
'The fact that our Alabama team had access to executives from top global aerospace firms demonstrates that Alabama is positioned for growth in the short term, and very importantly, in the future.'
The effort continued on Tuesday and Wednesday with additional appointments at Le Bourget conducted by Bob Smith, the Alabama Department of Commerce's point man on aerospace.
Secretary Canfield said expanding the aerospace supply chain in the state is key as major players in the industry solidify their manufacturing footprint across Alabama. The state's aerospace manufacturing employment base has grown by more than 1,000 jobs in the past year, providing a glimpse of more potential gains.
'The supply chain was an important strategic focus for us at the Paris Air Show this year,' Secretary Canfield said. 'With aerospace investment coming into the state, it's key for us to facilitate the development of the supply chain for companies like Airbus, ULA and Aerojet Rocketdyne.'
Smith said the European air shows at Paris and at Farnborough near London represent important business events for the state because foreign direct investment is extensive in Alabama's aerospace cluster. He believes the recruiting and marketing strategy at this year's air show was the most productive in the past several years.
'The state team was prepared with a well-balanced agenda of scheduled appointments with projects we are pursuing, companies with existing operations in Alabama, and targeted supply-chain companies we want to bring to the state,' said Smith, whose title at Commerce is assistant director of business development-European strategy.
The Alabama team's formal appointment list at the 2019 Paris Air Show included companies such as the United Launch Alliance, Blue Origin, Carpenter Technology, Raytheon, GKN Aerospace and GE Aviation.
The team also connected with high-ranking military officials and top government officials such Wilbur Ross, secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce, and Jim Birdenstine, administrator of NASA.
'Being able to leverage Alabama's top officials at the show to discuss and negotiate both existing projects and new opportunities directly with a company's highest officials and decision-makers is extremely helpful to our effort,' Smith said.
'Recruitment of aerospace companies is highly competitive, and we met our goals this year in all three areas.'