Wow, This Region Is So Defensive

Assuming that “defensive” is the adjective describing a region with a lot of defense-related contracting activities…

The news about UW’s big defense contract got me thinking about all the defense-related contracting that goes on in our region. Obviously, Prosperity Partnership has been focused on that topic a lot since the creation of our Military Cluster Strategy in 2008, but for those of you who haven’t picked that up in a while, we’re talking $3.7 billion in contracts in the four-county Puget Sound region.  A lot of those come from aerospace and engineering related activities, as well as your basic procurement for things like construction, janitorial, and medical services, and other base support services.

Of course, the big procurement going on these days is the Air Force aerial refueling tanker, for which our region is actively supporting Boeing’s bid, but the UW announcement is a great reminder that some of those dollars go to the most unexpected places. Down near Portland, for example, Nike is a huge military contractor, making all sorts of high performance gear for soldiers. And one of the great things about these contracts is that they are often unaffected by the recession (sometimes even specifically counter-cyclical). So it’s great that there are efforts going on in our region to focus on how to continue to increase those contracts for local companies.

By the way, as you might imagine, Boeing is the largest defense contractor in our region. And we’re doing a tour of some of their facilities to learn more about things like the P-8A and UAVs. Join us, if you’re interested!

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