Many of you have probably heard by now that Bill McSherry, Director of Economic Development at PSRC, will be taking a leave to help the Governor more effectively address our state’s competitiveness with regard to the aerospace industry. As the old saying goes, “It’s a tough job, but somebody’s got to do it.” And if anyone’s right for the job, it’s probably Bill, so we all wish him congratulations and good luck.
It seems to several of us, though, that a big part of success in ensuring our state’s aerospace future is really getting the dialogue going publicly about why this is all so important. So, over the next few months, I encourage all of you to use this space as a forum for having that discussion.
Let’s start with the tanker decision. This is a great, countercyclical project that could employ a lot of folks at a time when the commercial airplane side of things is sliding a little bit. And yes, we have a new administration which seems intent on keeping more American jobs here rather than giving them to foreign companies. But we also have the same Secretary of Defense, and a lot of pressure from some members of congress to continue to punish Boeing for sins of the past and/or allow some southern states to develop their own aerospace industry cluster.
So how can our community come together and help advocate for the tanker contract to be decided in favor of Boeing? Should we? And what do we think about the idea of “everybody wins?”