(July 7, 2009)—Governor Chris Gregoire joined leaders in Snohomish County and the aerospace industry in a roundtable discussion on Tuesday, July 7, to develop strategies to create a more sustainable economy. ATS gladly hosted the group of industry and government leaders. Prior to the meeting, she and Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon, Everett Mayor Ray Stephanson, and others met briefly with members of the media in the Hangar 3 lobby. The news, radio, and print reporters were interested in the nature of the discussion, as well as the governor’s perspective on the recent Boeing news.
Held in the ATS Charles Taylor conference room, the governor stated, “It is critical that we keep aerospace jobs and grow the aerospace industry in our state. That’s why I have pledged to work with the Legislature, business, labor, local communities and colleges to maintain Washington’s competitive edge in aerospace.” Gregoire has convened similar roundtables in Vancouver, Seattle, Spokane, Tacoma and Bellevue, and will organize similar discussions across the state to promote the best interests of local businesses. Participants were updated on the work of the Washington Council on Aerospace, which met for the first time on June 26 and meets again Aug. 14. Created through an executive order signed in May by the governor, the council oversees state efforts to ensure that Washington remains the leading location in the world in which to design and build airplanes. Incidentally, VP/
Finance and Administration Michael Zubovic was appointed to the council upon its initiation. “Washington’s aerospace industry is the most diverse in the world,” said Zubovic. “ATS is pleased to host this roundtable discussion with Governor Gregoire and other community and industry leaders. Our collective effort and partnership are paramount in strengthening the state’s future in aerospace.”
After the meeting, ATS President Matt Yerbic, VP/Operatoins Phil Bathurst, and Mike Zubovic escorted the governor on a tour of our hangar space. Genuinely interested in the work done here, she paused often to shake hands and chat briefly with mechanics in Bays 1 and 2 of Hangar 3. “The governor’s visit gave ATS a chance to explain our business challenges and how important our partnership with government leaders is to securing our long-term success. Governor Gregoire was very receptive to our concerns, and I look forward to future dialogues with her ensuring our viability in light of international and national competition,” Yerbic stated. The governor was impressed with our facility and our dedicated employees. Thank you to the Operations and Facilities teams who continue to work hard every day to make ATS shine—it goes to show that you never know who might be dropping by, and it’s a good feeling that our hangars are neat and tidy on a consistent basis.