Exotic Metals Forming Co. Comes to Airway Heights

 Exotic Metals Forming Company LLC, a Kent, Wash.-based world-class manufacturing company supplying the OEM segment of the aerospace industry for more than 48 years, has selected a site in the City of Airway Heights, in Spokane County, Wash. for a new manufacturing facility. Exotic Metals Forming is a leader in state-of-the-art, high-temperature, high-strength sheet metal designs and fabrications for the aerospace industry. The company is considered one of the preferred suppliers of complex sheet metal assemblies.

The site in Airway Heights will accommodate a 150,000 square foot building that will be home to 150 new employees. This new location will use world-class lean principles and methods and be a site for fabrication and assembly of aerospace exotic alloy ducting. Employees will include CNC machinists, TIG welders (manual and automated), assemblers, testers and engineering technicians.

“This is a great day for our community and for the entire state,” said Rich Hadley, President and CEO of Greater Spokane Incorporated. “Growing the aerospace industry in Spokane County is one of GSI’s strategic objectives and this is a great example of how economic development is a team sport. We are proud to be home to Exotic’s Eastern Washington manufacturing facility.”

As the second largest aerospace community in Washington, Spokane has developed a recruitment strategy that positions the region as the ideal place for aerospace investments. With more than 110 aerospace companies employing more than 12,000 workers, Spokane has the right infrastructure and business climate for aerospace suppliers and manufacturers that are looking for new or expansion sites.

“Exotic Metals is another example of an aerospace manufacturer that recognizes the quality of our workforce and the quality of our location,” said Al French, Chair, Spokane County Board of Commissioners. “This is a true game changer we believe will significantly elevate the Spokane region in the minds of the global aerospace community.”

“Today is an important step – if not a momentous moment – toward realizing our economic goals,” said Mayor David Condon, City of Spokane. “My hope is that others across the Pacific Northwest, and the globe, will discover what Exotic has undoubtedly learned: Spokane has an excellent trained and available workforce, collaborative business and political leaders, a low business cost environment, tremendous educational institutions and a quality of life that is second to none.”

The announcement is the result of more than six years of work to select and prepare the right site in the Spokane region. The recruitment team included members from Avista Corporation, City of Airway Heights, City of Spokane, Community Colleges of Spokane, Greater Spokane Incorporated, Spokane County and Spokane International Airport, in addition to our state partners in the Governor’s office and the Washington Department of Commerce.

“We’re excited that Exotic Metals is joining our City, culminating successful recruiting efforts led by our officials, Greater Spokane Incorporated and the Spokane International Airport,” said Airway Heights Mayor Patrick Rushing. “The Airway Heights City Council shares a unified vision and goal to grow the aerospace industry in and around the City. Moving forward on this vision will help make the lives of our residents and businesses more productive and financially viable.”

The 56.6-acre site, purchased from the Spokane International Airport, is located near McFarlane and Lawson streets in Airway Heights and presents ample room for future growth and expansion.

“Working with Exotic Metals and the City of Airway Heights has resulted in a strategic win for the future of aviation and aerospace on the West Plains,” said Lawrence J. Krauter, CEO of the Spokane International Airport. “Today’s announcement is evidence of the Airport Board’s commitment to growing the economic impact of Spokane International Airport and its support of the regional aerospace industry. We look forward to a continued partnership with the City as we work toward furthering this goal.”

Aerospace careers are paid slightly higher than Spokane County’s annual average wage of about $41,900. Based on the payroll for Exotic employees and the investment in the new facility, GSI calculates the annual economic impact for the project at more than $100 million. Each new Exotic Metals job will create at least one additional job in our region through the local supply chain and consumer purchases, equaling more than 300 total new jobs.

During the recruitment process, GSI staff assisted the company with community and site tours, workforce availability and funded training programs, municipal and utility contacts, and connections to local manufacturers. In addition, GSI also advocated and received Governor’s Strategic Reserve Funds that were used by Exotic Metals for pre-planning and site readiness activities.

“Congratulations to Exotic Metals Forming Company on its expansion in Airway Heights,” said Governor Jay Inslee. “We are pleased to support this 48-year-old company as it continues to invest in Washington, capitalizing on the tremendous expansion of commercial airplane production at The Boeing Company. This is an important day for Airway Heights, the greater Spokane region, and the entire State of Washington.”

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