PARIS – The competition for aerospace jobs and investment is fierce. No place demonstrates that better than the U.S. Pavilion at the 2017 Paris Air Show, where nearly two dozen states have exhibition booths.
At the aerospace industry’s premiere trade show, these booths serve as a nerve center and meeting space for the state economic developers teams who travel to Le Bourget Airport to connect with business executives.
The Alabama Department of Commerce’s “Made in Alabama” booth was a busy place this week. Governor Kay Ivey and Commerce Secretary Greg Canfield had appointments were representatives from several companies at the booth, as did teams from around the state.
Altogether, 30 scheduled appointments were held at the booth over just two days.
The booth was also the setting for an announcement by Germany-based Winkelmann Group that it is investing $12 million in a high-tech metals-forming facility in Alabama.
Just before that announcement at the “Made in Alabama” booth, Governor Ivey had a brief chat with Governor Mary Fallin of Oklahoma, whose booth was a short walk away.
Oklahoma was just one of many U.S. rivals joining Alabama in the U.S. Pavilion. Among the others: North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Mississippi, Indiana, Ohio, Virginia, Michigan, Texas, New York. A few cities were there.
Other North American competitors were present as well. Mexico was represented, as were several individual Mexican states. Canadian provinces including Québec and Alberta had exhibition booths in the hall.
With so much competition, standing out helps. At the 2016 Farnborough International Air Show, judges selected the “Made in Alabama” booth as the Best in Show in the U.S. Pavilion, where there were more than 200 booths.
Here’s what Gov. Ivey and Secretary Canfield said about the Paris Air Show mission.