News Release
For Immediate Release
Feb. 26, 2016

Michael Sullivan
GOED Communications Director

Utah’s Aerospace Industry Flies Higher
State and industry leaders celebrate Utah Aerospace Day at State Capitol

SALT LAKE CITY, UT— Lt. Gov. Spencer J. Cox, along with Utah aerospace industry partners and the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED), announced the newly formed Utah chapter of the Aerospace States Association (ASA) in a special event today at the State Capitol.

The ASA is a non-partisan organization made up of associate members of the aerospace industry, lieutenant governors and governor-appointed delegates. Lt. Gov. Cox will chair the Utah chapter of the ASA, which advocates for state-based initiatives that strengthen U.S. leadership in aviation and space.

“Utah’s new ASA chapter formalizes our continued dedication to the aerospace industry,” Lt. Gov. Cox said. “Our state works extremely well with industry partners, and establishing this platform will further the positive impact of our public-private collaboration.”

Utah’s aerospace industry recently took flight with an innovative approach to workforce development challenges. In 2015, industry leaders formed an unprecedented partnership with the government and education leaders to address a critical need for skilled workers. The partnership ultimately launched the Utah Aerospace Pathways program, which allows high school students to graduate with a certificate in aerospace manufacturing.

“The Utah Aerospace Pathways program has become a model that other industries can replicate to meet their own workforce development goals,” said Val Hale, executive director of GOED. “This is a perfect example of states finding creative solutions to complex problems.”

Also at today’s event, Steven Hendrickson, director of government operations for Boeing, read a declaration from Governor Gary R. Herbert establishing Feb. 26 as Utah Aerospace Day. John Karas, vice president and program manager for Ground Based Strategic Deterrence at Lockheed Martin, presented Lt. Gov. Cox with a Utah state flag flown in space from the Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle. Throughout the day, L-3, IMSAR and SilverHawk Aerial Imaging conducted live demonstrations of manned and unmanned aerial systems in various locations across the state, and several industry partners sponsored exhibits in the Capitol rotunda that showcased Utah’s aerospace assets.

By joining the ASA, Utah benefits from additional representation in federal aerospace and aviation policy development as well as collaboration with other member states. The organization advocates for issues that align with top priorities in Utah’s aerospace industry: research and design funding; workforce training; economic development in aerospace and aviation; excellence in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education; and keeping states competitive in a global marketplace.

Editor’s Note: B-roll from participating companies may be downloaded at


About the Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED)  

The Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) charter is based on Governor Gary Herbert’s commitment to economic development statewide. Utah’s economic development vision is that Utah will lead the nation as the best performing economy and be recognized as a premier global business environment and tourist destination. The mandate for this office is to provide rich business resources for the creation, growth and recruitment of companies to Utah and to increase tourism and film production in the state. GOED accomplishes this mission through the administration of programs that are based around targeted industries or “economic clusters” that demonstrate the best potential for development. GOED utilizes state resources and private sector contracts to fulfill its mission.  For more information please contact:  Michael Sullivan, 801-538-8811 or

About the Aerospace States Association

The Aerospace States Association (ASA) was formed to promote a state-based perspective in federal aerospace policy development and support state aerospace initiatives that enhance student/teacher education outreach and economic development opportunities.