October 22, 2012

State of Alabama
Press Release: Alabama Department of Commerce

Commerce Secretary Addresses Key Aerospace Suppliers

For Immediate Release:

TOULOUSE, FRANCE -- Success comes when opportunity meets preparation, Alabama Department of Commerce Secretary Greg Canfield told 350 aerospace suppliers here today representing 250 prominent companies from around the world at the 2012 Airbus Global Supplier Conference.

“Alabama has long invested in the preparation for economic growth in the aerospace sector and we have already begun to reap the rewards,” Canfield said. “We would like to provide these suppliers with the resources to start their businesses in Alabama and the training necessary to maintain a healthy level of growth and continued success.”

Canfield told the crowd of key aerospace business executives that Alabama has more than 300 aerospace companies and 80,000 aerospace workers.  “Airbus is a tremendous opportunity for Alabama to be one of a few large aircraft assembly venues, but this is not our first experience in aerospace. We have already made the necessary preparations and have what it takes to grow this industry in the state.”

Companies attending the seminar included some of the biggest names in the aerospace industry, including Labinal, Triumph Actuation Systems, Hexcel, Turkish Aerospace Industries and Safran Aircelle.

Canfield said the state has assisted hundreds of international businesses located in Alabama, especially in helping making their move to the state easier. “Our goal is for everyone to have the most risk free, positive and profitable experience in Alabama,” he told the suppliers.

He stressed the state’s focus on developing a comprehensive education and workforce model to assist with the supplier needs.  These efforts will involve four-year engineering schools, aviation colleges, A7P mechanic schools, workforce training centers, and K through 12 programs.

During the trip, four companies have already asked about visiting Alabama, Canfield said, and more may follow.

Commerce Project Manager Bob Smith accompanied Canfield on the trip and made several presentations to aerospace suppliers as well.

Governor Robert Bentley touted the importance of aerospace suppliers in the state in a talk Sunday to the Alabama Association of Regional Councils in Point Clear. "Bringing Airbus to this area was important. But bringing all of the supplier companies, is even more important because that's what's going to create most of the jobs," said Gov. Bentley



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