Spokane Is
Uniquely Capable

The Spokane area possesses a robust and diverse aerospace supply chain that is increasing in scope each year. A matrix of suppliers’ capabilities and certifications is available here.

This includes the I-90 Aerospace Corridor, an integrated network of over 100 companies in Washington, Idaho, and Montana that actively supply the aerospace industry.  These manufacturers provide capabilities such as sheet metal fabrication, composites manufacturing and assembly, program integration, CNC machining and tooling, and injection molding.  The region is home to one of only three aerospace-grade aluminum rolling mills in the United States and is also served by a metals conversion house. Nearby Fairchild Air Force Base is home to over 6,000 airmen and provides a steady supply of experienced aircraft mechanics who are familiar with aircraft assembly.

The Northwest I-90 Manufacturing Alliance (NIMA) is comprised of more than 100 area companies and works to support the aerospace industry. One offering unique among aerospace clusters is NIMA’s program management function. NIMA will handle supply chain management of local and out of region suppliers on behalf of a customer seeking a one-stop shop for larger work packages.

Spokane has broad aerospace manufacturing capabilities.

Mill Product
& Conversion

Metal Machining
and Forming

Composites and

Assembly and Support Services

Spokane’s Workforce Is
Adaptive and Growing

Workforce is a key resource essential to growing manufacturing operations. In general terms, the Spokane Metropolitan Statistical Area has a population of over 670,000 people with a median age of 37, a labor force of 263,641, and an unemployment rate of 3.9% (through August 2023, the latest report). However, the Spokane labor force pulls from a much larger geographic footprint which includes Stevens, Pend Oreille, Lincoln, Adams and Whitman counties, as well as Northern Idaho, adding a further 139,000 persons.

Our community has been intentional in providing better connectivity and visibility into the needs of our current and future employers.  Bringing industry, workforce development organizations and academia together to discuss the existing talent pool, current program ecosystem and identifying opportunities for expansion of programs and pathways have been a priority.

The Spokane Workforce Council (SWC) is a very nimble, capable, and nationally recognized regional asset that offers services to assist with recruiting and hiring needs, including job posting and screening, assessment testing, on-the-job training, and assembling state and federal training funds. The SWC has assembled a report about the current labor market and the occupation makeup of the manufacturing industry as well as engineers and technicians, which can be review below.

Employed Workforce Breakdown

Inland Northwest Consortium Files Tech Hub Application to Create The American Aerospace Materials Manufacturing Center

In August 2023 Gonzaga University, with the support of Spokane International Airport and nearly 50 other academic institutions, aerospace businesses, workforce development organizations, and economic development agencies submitted a Phase I application to the Economic Development Administration’s Regional Technology and Innovation Hubs for hub designation and a strategy development grant for the American Aerospace Materials Manufacturing Center. The Center is focused on the development of advanced composite materials to create aircraft that are lighter and more fuel efficient at reduced cost, as well as developing the technical workforce necessary to build and maintain parts and components from these new composite materials.

For more information on the American Aerospace Materials Manufacturing Center application, stakeholders and capabilities, click on the PDF below.

AAMMC Application & Background Information

Regional Precision Manufacturing Supported by Numerous Area Universities and Community Colleges

Over 100,000 students from the area’s 20 higher education institutions are earning technical certification and advanced degrees, providing a well-trained and job-ready workforce. The region’s 4-year universities graduate over 1,400 engineers per year.

The Spokane area is served by numerous community colleges offering training in multiple areas relevant to aerospace:  Aviation maintenance, CAD, electronics and avionics, hydraulics and pneumatics, CNC Machining, and welding.

Community Colleges of Spokane (CCS) serves over 22,000 individual students annually and awards over 2,200 degrees and certificates each year. Spokane Community College’s (SCC) Aviation Maintenance Technology program is a FAA Part 147 accredited course that prepares graduates for both airframe and powerplant licenses. About 35 individuals complete the program annually.

The Spokane Workforce Council has also provided data showing the number of engineering associate, under-graduate, graduate and doctorate degrees awarded at colleges and universities in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana for the 2017–2018 term (most current data).

The Spokane Workforce Council can develop more detailed job classification information upon request. Spokane attracts skilled labor and professional talent from the four State region, of which the city is the geographic center, with the urban and outdoor amenities to attract and retain this most vital resource.

A slide deck of the manufacturing and research capabilities at Washington State University, with a particular emphasis on existing regarding material science and battery projects, can be found here.

Click here for more information on Spokane Community College’s manufacturing training programs and Spokane Falls Community College’s engineering and cybersecurity programs.

WSU Material Science Download PDF

Spokane International Airport Supports Flight Testing

Should you have a need for flight testing, the Airport has an abundance of airfield capacity and airspace that supports all flight test activities.  We recently hosted Boeing for several weeks of onsite flight testing of the B777X.  Previously, we also played a similar role with the aircraft’s predecessor, the B777.  The Airport is served by a Level 7 FAA Air Traffic Control Tower with approach control (TRACON).  The Class C airspace allows for safe and efficient aircraft operation during flight test activities and the FAA ATCT staff has a customer-service culture that is helpful and friendly.  The FAA ATCT staff routinely works with Aero-Flite, an aerial firefighting company headquartered at the Airport that conducts aircraft and pilot flight testing, including simulated and actual water drops on the centerline of the secondary runway, 8-26. In their off time, flight test personnel can enjoy the many activities that the region has to offer.


Operate with business costs 18% below the national average.



Quickly get your product to market with 200 trucking firms, Class 1 rail service and multiple daily 1-hour flights to Seattle and Everett.


Grow your company by relocating to Spokane!