A coalition of Northwest Florida County officials are seeking to woo aerospace suppliers to the Panhandle, in response to the building of Mobile, Alabama's Airbus plant, set to be operational in 2015.
Walton County is jumping on the opportunity to attend a December conference in Germany to lure a more diversify industry to their economic landscape.
"This is not just Walton County promoting Walton County, but obviously we are promoting Walton County. Mossy Head is our primary owned industrial site facility. There are also private properties along the i-10 stretch, the DeFuniak exit, US 331...so these are all opportunities that we have to attract these companies that are going to be setting up shop in this region anyway. Why not here," said Walton County Economic Development Alliance Director, Steve Jaeger.
Jaeger will join Commissioner Bill Imfeld and other representatives from Bay, Escambia, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa counties as a part of the Gulf Coast Aerospace Consortium.
Together, they will attend the Global Aerospace Supply Chain Conference in December in Hamburg, Germany, the main hub for Airbus, to make their case for subcontractors to settle in their county.
Commissioner Imfeld said Walton County has the infrastructure to support these sub businesses and this is an opportunity that must be acted upon quickly.
"We've got a lot of infrastructure already in, but we need to find out what is it that they need, not only Airbus but other airplanes as well that'll be over there and can tell us, "this is what we need in the form of infrastructure, this is what we need in the job force, this is what we need in the way of commitments from counties and localities for us to locate subcontractors to provide us with the parts needed," said Imfeld.
Tuesday, the board voted to reduce the number of Walton County representatives set to attend due to cost saving measures.