The formation of the Arkansas Aerospace Alliance, a trade association to support and promote the growth of the aerospace and aviation industry in the state, has been launched.
The purpose of the Alliance is to strengthen and expand the state’s aerospace and aviation industry, which employs approximately 9,000 Arkansans and accounts for annual exports of more then $1.67 billion.
The goal of the alliance, according to a press release from the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce, is to train the state’s current and future aerospace workforce, to be a strong resource to existing industry, to promote Arkansas’s workforce to the world and to attract new aerospace companies to the state.
“This alliance will build future success and achievement onto Arkansas’s strong foundation in aerospace and aviation,” said Gov. Mike Beebe. “We must always be ready to adapt to keep up with this evolving industry, and gathering expert minds to work together will help us do just that.”
Earlier this year, the AEDC signed a memorandum of understanding with the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce/Associated Industries of Arkansas. The State Chamber/AIA is now responsible for the administration of the Arkansas Aerospace Alliance with input from the AEDC.
“The creation of the Arkansas Aerospace Alliance is exactly what our industry needs right now,” said Scott Van Laningham, executive director and CEO of the Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport Authority. “By bringing together representatives from airports and aviation companies, we can become stronger advocates for solutions to the challenges that each group faces. Whether the issue is having a better trained workforce for our industries or having grants for projects at our airports, we all benefit when we tackle these issues together.”
The Arkansas Aerospace Alliance will hold its annual Arkansas Aerospace Summit on March 5-7, 2013 at the Fort Smith Convention Center.