On the Road to Celebrate Manufacturing in Washington
Impact Washington-NIST MEP enthusiastically participated in the annual MFG Week bus tour hosted by the Association of Washington Business (AWB) from Thursday, October 6, to Thursday, October 13. This tour aligned with the nationwide initiative known as MFG Day, which aims to showcase the modern manufacturing industry to students, parents, and the general public. It marked Impact Washington's third year of collaboration and partnership with AWB for this remarkable event, and it was the first time we joined the AWB team on their bus.
"As the Center Director of Impact Washington-NIST MEP, I am immensely proud of our active involvement in both the planning and execution of the bus tours,” said Deloit R Wolfe, Jr. “It has been an incredible opportunity for us to showcase the vital role of manufacturing in Washington state, and to witness firsthand the transformative impact it has on communities and the economy. Through our collaborative efforts with the Association of Washington Business, we drive positive change, foster innovation, and inspire the next generation of manufacturers. Together, we are shaping the future of manufacturing in Washington, and I couldn't be more thrilled to be a part of it."
The primary objective of the Manufacturing Week bus tour is to raise awareness about the significant role of manufacturing in Washington state. The tour supports the manufacturing sector's growth while spotlighting innovative and impactful manufacturers who contribute to their communities and the state's economy.
"The last few years have been challenging, and there's much uncertainty about the economy's future," said AWB President Kris Johnson. "Through it all, Washington manufacturers have proven to be resilient. Manufacturing is already a major driver of the economy, and now the state is working toward doubling manufacturing by 2031.”
The journey began in Whatcom County at Chinook Industries and Goodwinds Composites, traversing various eastern regions and concluding in central Washington. Its purpose was to underscore the importance of manufacturing jobs and draw attention to the state's ambitious goal of doubling the number of such jobs within a ten-year span. The tour featured a visually captivating, fully wrapped bus that made 30 stops across 13 counties, visiting manufacturing facilities, colleges, and high schools throughout the state.
Manufacturing is a vital driving force behind Washington's economy, employing approximately 265,000 individuals, accounting for about 8% of the statewide workforce. These jobs offer competitive compensation, with an average annual salary of $95,777, surpassing the statewide average by one-sixth.
Washington proudly hosts 8,089 manufacturing establishments strategically located throughout the state, collectively generating an impressive $24.8 billion in annual wages.
An exciting addition in 2022 was including students in the tour, allowing them to visit some of Washington's most innovative manufacturers. This initiative aimed to introduce young people to the rewarding career prospects available in modern manufacturing, both in the present and the future.
Throughout October, tour highlight and company spotlight videos were broadcasted on MFGisWA.org and various social media platforms. Impact Washington-NIST MEP sponsored highlights of tours to Goodwinds Composites in Mount Vernon, Hotstart Thermal Management in the Spokane Valley, and Analog Devices Inc. in Camas, further emphasizing our commitment to supporting and promoting the manufacturing industry all year.
About Impact Washington-NIST MEP
As a NIST MEP–approved Center, Impact Washington is the official representative of the MEP National Network in Washington State. Impact Washington is a statewide non-profit organization that provides competitive, value-driven consulting and training services. With access to public and private resources, we enhance growth, improve productivity, reduce costs, and expand manufacturing capacity in Washington. Our solutions, consulting, and educational opportunities focus on small and medium-sized manufacturers throughout the state. 1997 Impact Washington has delivered measurable, validated business results/impacts to more than 1,500 Washington State manufacturers.
About the Association of Washington Business (AWB):
Formed in 1904, the Association of Washington Business is Washington’s oldest and largest statewide business association and includes nearly 7,000 members representing 700,000 employees. AWB serves as both the state's chamber of commerce and the manufacturing and technology association. AWB also has a longstanding record of working for companies in many other industries, such as retail, wholesale, communications, services, agriculture, transportation, hospitality, and construction.