John Powers for the KPBJ
The Kitsap Aerospace and Defense Alliance (KADA) was formed in 2012 to focus on creating new economic development opportunities in Kitsap in the aerospace and related defense industries. KADA is a strategic alliance supported by Kitsap County, the City of Bremerton, City of Port Orchard and Port of Bremerton, as well as local businesses all working to strengthen and diversify our local economy. This year marked the fifth anniversary of KADA leaders joining with the Washington State Department of Commerce in participating in the aerospace industry’s signature international (alternating) airshow(s) – the Paris and Farnborough air shows.
This year’s Paris Airshow was held at Le Bourget Airfield, just outside of Paris, the third week of June. KADA was represented by four members of its leadership team: Kitsap County Commissioner Charlotte Garrido; Port of Bremerton Commissioner Axel Strakeljahn; and, KADA co-chairs Tim Thomson and myself. Our team joined 60 other industry and community leaders from across the state and met with hundreds of industry leaders from around the globe. We also conducted dozens of individual meetings with companies already operating in our region, as well as companies that are exploring new opportunities in our region and Kitsap.
From our joint efforts with the Department of Commerce, we are working directly with a half a dozen companies planning to visit Kitsap and obtain a first-hand look at all that Kitsap offers the aerospace and defense industries. Kitsap’s valuable assets include the 3,000-acre Puget Sound Industrial Center-Bremerton, which includes the Bremerton National Airport, and adjacent Olympic View Industrial Park. From a defense sector perspective, it’s important to remember Kitsap is also home to the second largest industrial complex in the Pacific Northwest – Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility – and the densest per-capita defense sector in the Western U.S.
We are currently planning to host visits from companies that hail from Germany, France, England, Ireland, and Spain, as well as from several regions of the United States.
For a detailed look at the briefing materials KADA uses in promoting aerospace and defense manufacturing opportunities in Kitsap – “New Horizon’s in Aerospace” — check out KADA’s website, www.kitsapaerospace.com.
For a detailed briefing on our work at this year’s Paris Airshow, as well as a five year re-cap of KADA’s work and results, please join us at KADA’s Annual Meeting on September 29 – more information can be found on both KADA’s website, www.kitsapaerospace.com, and KEDA’s website, www.kitsapeda.org.
Finally, stay tuned for an announcement later this year regarding an aerospace company establishing new operations in Kitsap… 3, 2, 1 LIFT!
Executive Director, Kitsap Economic Development Alliance