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As you know, the aerospace industry has a huge impact on our Nation. It keeps our country safe, provides Americans with good, family-supporting jobs, and it drives our economy. The industry contributes about $120 billion in export sales – the largest trade surplus of any manufacturing industry in the U.S. But aerospace is bigger than just manufacturing equipment for outer space and creating jobs to do so. The aerospace industry innovates and drives technology advancement. The technology literally drives our cars, grows our food, educates our students, heals our sick and moves our markets.
As chair of the Aerospace States Association (ASA) and Lt. Governor of Wisconsin, I’ve seen firsthand the tremendous importance of these industries. From defense to transportation and engineering to education, these industries affect the economy both here in Wisconsin and throughout the entire Nation.
The ASA is the only organization whose sole purpose is to bring together state elected leaders with the aerospace industry, academics and trade groups to discuss and ensure that our aerospace sectors remain competitive and advancing at both the state and federal levels. There is no other state-level organization that sees the future of our state and national economies more clearly than the ASA.
Our organization is growing, and involvement is increasing at an accelerated rate. Since founding our state chapters just four years ago, the organization has helped establish 15 chapters with five more expected this year. These chapters have hosted Aerospace Days at their State Capitols that included rocket exhibits, opportunities to meet astronauts like Buzz Aldrin, UAS and drone flights and F-35 flight simulators. State chapters also facilitate networking events between corporations and suppliers, advise on legislative policies and assist in building dialog among aerospace communities.
Because of this momentum, our Associate Membership has quadrupled in the past few years. Companies ranging from start-ups to large corporations – like Northrop Grumman, Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Honeywell – have gotten involved, as well as several major state and private universities. Additionally, the ASA has established formal relationships with the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) and the Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) as partners.
If you would like to learn more about the ASA, contact ASA Executive Director Ross Garelick Bell at (703) 402-6384 or go to www.aerostates.org.
Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch
State of Wisconsin
Chair of Aerospace States Association
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