Chad Causey, executive director of the Arkansas Aerospace Alliance, says the aviation and aerospace industries are crucial to the state’s development of its advance manufacturing sector.

“These are great jobs, wonderful jobs,” Causey said. “Certainly, the more we can get these companies to grow here in Arkansas or locate here creates great opportunities for jobs for Arkansans.

Data from Arkansas officials indicates that the state’s aerospace and aviation industry has about 180 companies, employs more than 9,000 Arkansans and accounts for annual exports of more then $1.8 billion.

Causey said Arkansas is poised for more growth in the aerospace and aviation arenas because of its proximity to a midwestern aerospace axis. That trail extends from southern Iowa through Kansas and into Dallas. Because of Arkansas’ range to companies in that corridor and its ability to access transportation – through highway, rivers and airways – Causey contends the industry has an opportunity to capitalize.

“Here in Arkansas we have somewhat of a strategic position for what we feel would be a good location to grow the existing cluster that we have with both our defense industries located down around Camden, but also with Dassault Falcon Jet here in Little Rock and the manufacturers that service those industries,” he said.

You can view his entire interview in the video below.

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