Posted 11/28/2012 04:37 pm
Updated 6 months ago
Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce/Associated Industries of Arkansas announced this week 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."
The goal of the alliance, which held its first meeting of the steering committee earlier this week, is to train the state's current and future aerospace workforce, be a resource to existing industry, to promote
According to the state chamber, which will administer the alliance with input from the Arkansas Economic Development Commission, the alliance will hold the annual Arkansas Aerospace Summit on March 5-7 at the
The alliance began about six years ago as a task force by the Little Rock Municipal Airport Commission, according to a story Monday in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.
Now, 35 representatives of the aviation and aerospace industry, business and general aviation, manufacturing, the state military community and federal government are working with the governor's office to develop a trade association to support the industry, the chamber said.
"This alliance will build future success and achievement onto
"The creation of the
"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 aerospace and aviation industry in
But the industry has fallen from its heights. According to the Democrat-Gazette, exports were at $486.4 million, down 16.8 percent from the previous year. And one of the biggest players in the Arkansas aerospace sector, Hawker Beechcraft, announced earlier this month that it will close its Hawker Beechcraft Services facility in Little Rock and reduce its remaining workforce.
There remains bright spots, however. In August, Custom Aircraft Cabinets, a woodworking and upholstery manufacturer for the aerospace industry, announced 150 new jobs and a move to a new manufacturing plant to Sherwood.