Friday, September 21, 2012

It's Aerospace Week: There's a Big Tent, Open it Wider

It's National Aerospace Week and I've been writing about the industry all this week. 

In addition to our legacy in the past, Ohio is, presently, home to some powerhouse aerospace places in the industry.  Our Port Authority's Aerospace Center is one of them.  However, there are others, of course.

Wright Patterson Air Force Base is a massive Air Force installation that is the epicenter of protecting our nation and, oh by the way, has a $5.7 billion dollar annual impact on Dayton and Ohio's economy.

NASA Glenn in Northern Ohio stands out too with its space mission so vital to the nation's space program.  The economic impact deserves high attention too.

The real story that, frankly, tends to get overshadowed by these two big places, though, is that Ohio's aerospace industry is broad and wide and loaded with a widespread array of small companies.

Ohio's supply chain to aircraft manufacturing is so strong that is the number one supplier state to both Boeing and Airbus.  Impressive.

My point?  There's a big tent for aerospace in Ohio and just caring about two places not only short changes the rest of the industry in Ohio but it also threatens the ability for the big guys to rally all of Ohio in a bigger way on their behalf too.

It's time aerospace in Ohio learn from the agriculture industry. 

Ag likes to say that it is Ohio's largest industry.  That thinking penetrates.  My kids' Ohio history books tell them that farming is our top industry, even if that's no longer true.

They have a big tent in the agriculture industry because they include EVERYONE who touches the industry from the mom and pop farmer and massive egg producer to the local grocer and Walmart food distribution centers.

Aerospace in Ohio has a big tent too.  It's time to open it wider.

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