Teaming Up To Help Arizona Aerospace Companies

Published: Friday, August 12, 2016 - 7:05am
(Photo by Christina Estes - KJZZ)
Mignonne Hollis, executive director of the Arizona Regional Economic Development Foundation, speaks at an aerospace roundtable hosted by the Phoenix Business Journal.

Joining forces to rely less on the big guys is one game plan being discussed among Arizona’s aerospace industry. During a recent roundtable hosted by the Phoenix Business Journal, company executives shared stories about what’s working and what’s not. 

Household names like Boeing and Honeywell contribute to Arizona’s aerospace industry and so do companies you may not have heard of— like KinetX and Qwaltec. When the big names win big government contracts they often call on smaller companies to help get things done. But, when contracts slow down, Qwaltec Chief Executive Officer Shawn Linam says the big guys tend to cut them loose.  

“I’ve watched some of our colleagues either close their doors or significantly reduce their size,” she said. 

That’s why Mignonne Hollis says her group, the Arizona Regional Economic Development Foundation, has been pushing companies to approach business differently. 

“They’re really working together like they’ve never worked together before,” she said. “When they used to compete against one another they’re now saying, I can take this component, you can take this component. Let’s form another company and let’s see what we can do so that we’re not in the position of having to lay off six employees which is almost their entire staff that they have but maybe now we’re only laying off one.”

Hollis says it’s also important that local, state and federal government representatives present a unified front when pitching Arizona’s aerospace industry. She thinks the recently formed Arizona chapter of the Aerospace States Association will help the state better compete.

Friday’s edition of the Phoenix Business Journal takes a closer look at the market. 

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