Plans to attract major aerospace companies to Volusia County could get a boost Thursday and Friday when more than 150 industry leaders come to town for a conference at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.
It’s the spring meeting for the Aerospace Alliance, which includes aerospace leaders from Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Florida. With the presence of big-name companies such as Airbus, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin — Florida’s largest industrial employer — and NASA, these states comprise one of the largest aerospace corridors in the world, employing millions throughout the region.
The summit has focused on topics ranging from the manufacturing supply chain to federal policy impacting the sector in past years. This year the alliance will focus on the future of aerospace in the four-state region and particularly the region’s most critical and valuable asset — its educated workforce — and aligning the workforce to meet corporate needs.
Locally it also will give Volusia County an opportunity to make a lasting impression, especially at a time when Embry-Riddle is trying to attract businesses for its upcoming research park under construction on Clyde Morris Boulevard, said Melissa Medley, who works with Enterprise Florida, the state’s economic development organization which is sponsoring the summit.
“Of course, something like this can be very beneficial,” Medley said. “A lot of these companies have a footprint in other states and other countries, but they are always looking for where their next business unit might be placed and so things like this that further bring attention to the area are very advantageous.”