• Message from Don Kersey
  • Workforce Development Spotlight
  • Moses Lake Airshow
  • News From Around our Region
Message from Don Kersey, Executive Director
"The Next Cape Canaveral." That’s what Governor Inslee called our region when he visited aerospace innovators last month here at the Port of Moses Lake. Only weeks earlier, Universal Hydrogen successfully flew a hydrogen-powered plane out of Grant County International Airport. Meanwhile, another one of our high-profile clients, STOKE Space Technologies, made headlines for being allocated Launch Complex 14 at Cape Canaveral, the same space launch site as the first man to orbit the earth, John Glenn. We appreciate the Governor’s moniker because we have been wondering what more could possibly be fitting for a district so rich in radical innovation in the air. 
On the ground just a couple weeks ago, boots were muddying as next generation battery maker Group14 started construction of their one million square foot facility in our Wheeler Industrial corridor. One of several battery makers now in our region, and all poised to change how we electrify our future, you’ll read in our Workforce Development piece below that Dr. Sue Kane said it best, “Grant County and Moses Lake are a big part of what’s next for Washington State.” 

We couldn’t agree more. 

Just recently, the Port of Moses Lake was featured in the Washington Public Port Association’s Monthly Manifest newsletter. It was an honor to be featured here and we appreciate the opportunity to show how rich our region’s history has always been, and now as new history is made and piques attention across the State and country. Be sure to read it here. Our thanks to WPPA for the coverage.
Moses Lake Museum & Art Center's Exhibit
Speaking of history, we continue to honor our 80th year of service at MWH across our social media channels. This newsletter's header is one of the many photos we have. Did you know that the Moses Lake Museum and Art Center has a phenomenal display and nod of respect to Colonel Clyde Owen? Be sure to stop by and pay them a visit as their collection is incredible. This past quarter we were also fortunate to have Charles Featherstone, Columbia Basin Herald, come out and review old photos and tell the story of how we came in receipt of some of them. See more here. Thank you, Charles! 

Finally, be sure to read about our upcoming Moses Lake Airshow this coming Father’s Day weekend at the Port. We sat down with Airport Director, Rich Mueller, for more details and inside scoop on what’s going well and what our community, and greater regional attendees, can expect. More history honoring, it’s poised to be another "great place to dream big" event that happens here. 

For news in-between our quarterly newsletters, follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter.
Workforce Development - Spotlight on Career Connected Learning
By: POML Staff Writer
Cari Horning (left), and Sue Kane (right)
When it comes to our regional workforce development initiatives, North Central ESD (NCESD)’s Career Connected Learning team is leading, serving, supporting, and connecting educational partners and communities of North Central Washington. The Career Connected Learning team serves as a part of the local Apple/STEM network, in partnership with NCESD and NCW Tech Alliance, and as a part of the statewide Career Connect Washington initiative. Together they are focused on creating regional partnerships that will clear pathways while creating new opportunities for our next generation’s workforce. The Port of Moses Lake sat down with Dr. Sue Kane, Director of STEM Initiatives and Strategic Partnerships, along with Cari Horning, Career Connected Learning Specialist, to learn more about what’s going well, what’s on the horizon for our region, and the tangible benefits of playing the long game. 
Career Technical Education (CTE) programs give students exploration and experience opportunities well-before they leave high school. There’s a need for it. According to Kane, when looking at just family-sustaining jobs in North Central Washington, 78% require some form of credential past a high school diploma. With continued alignment of K-12 and community college programs, along with apprenticeship programs, Kane said, “We want to see 70% of our kids getting these credentials to meet that demand [doubling the current credential attainment rate] so that local youth have the chance to fill some of these incredible roles, and we don’t have to bring in so many skilled and certified professionals from outside our region.” 
With NCESD Career Connected Learning team working to build partnerships and create alignment across 29 school districts, two community technical colleges, and growing industries and businesses, Kane said, “We need to make sure that our local companies have access to the talent, skills and workforce they need while our local youth have options to develop, take on some of these roles, and provide for their own future.”

It’s not just at the high school level, however. Dr. Kane said, “We want to see young people exploring careers at a younger elementary age. Although they don’t necessarily know where they’re going at this age yet, by age 10 , they do start to eliminate options from their career path. [Late-elementary] is a critical time to get them aware of opportunities.”
Horning said that these initiatives are helping students to learn of opportunities not otherwise known in our region’s industries. “You can be in healthcare without being a doctor. You can also be an attorney or accountant for manufacturing. We start them young, so they know at an early age how lessons in the classroom today correlate in the long term.”

NCESD plays an integral role in our region’s Economic Development. Helping also with EDO requests, and employers looking to scale up capacity or a specific skillset, NCESD can leverage onramps in K-12 and area community college programs into different career development opportunities. NCESD and NCW Tech Alliance co-lead the Apple STEM Network, and together, they provide a way for local schools and employers to partner with local government and community-based organizations. This also creates a way to expand resources for local career-connected learning programs through federal, state, private, and philanthropic funding. With growth of the energy, aviation, and manufacturing industries in our region, this is significant. “Grant County and Moses Lake are a big part of what’s next for Washington State. That comes with an imperative and be ready to scale. We’re able to look across the system to see where there is workforce potential at the regional level,” Kane said, adding, “The Apple/STEM network has grown to be a resource and a part of the economic development strategy for our region.” 
Employers can lean into this effort in a variety of ways, from offering apprenticeship or internship opportunities, offering worksite tours, or even just spending a couple hours with a student. The Career Connected learning team wants industry partners to know that whatever capacity they can spare can make a difference. Kane is inspired, “The whole idea of the rising tide lifting all boats? This is it. Strong partnerships are forming across the region. Leaders, incredible leaders, are emerging. It’s been amazing to see the collaboration and how so many in Grant County are really thoughtfully figuring out how their organization can contribute. They’re creating a collective impact across the entire region.”

And it’s paying off. According to Kane, there’s growing alignment between the regional labor market demands and associated credential achievement of our region’s workforce. “Since 2019, this gap is getting smaller,” Kane said, adding, “We’re seeing a better graduation rate and GED attainment. We are also seeing huge growth in youth and adult apprenticeship numbers, increases in employers offering apprenticeships and internships, and increases in the numbers of students in K-12 CTE programs. It’s all progress.”
There’s always room for more partners, too. Kane and Horning both agreed that industry engagement with area youth is not limited to internships or apprenticeships, often challenging aspects of regional manufacturing with minimum age and safety limitations. Employers can also get involved by volunteering to be a part of CTE and BBCC advisory committees and attend job fairs. 

Horning said, “When hearing from industry representatives, students learn a career path is not linear. They learn life and change happens, that someone may have started on one career path, only to find themselves doing completely different work. That’s when we see the spark in their eyes, as they realize it’s OK to change paths, it’s OK they may not yet know what they want to do, but there is always a pathway.”
Horning addressing students at CBTECH 2022.
Particularly helpful with personal connections is building regional youth’s soft skills. As fewer jobs are available for area youth than were 20-30 years ago, according to Kane, today’s youth are missing out on real-world spaces to practice. The team is welcoming to new ideas and innovation too. NCESD and Career Connected Learning are great ways for industry to get more involved. Kane said, “We have a lot of tradition and pride in rural communities in our ability to influence local workforce development. If you have big ideas, we want to hear them. There are meaningful connections to be made out here.”

Kane added, “We are all responsible for making sure our young people have the skills they need to be productive members of our community. It’s not easy, but it’s important, and so rewarding to be a part of ensuring our community remains healthy, vibrant, and growing.” 

If you have time, experience, ideas, or other resources to share, or want to get involved in the regional network as a community leader, please reach out to Aaron Parrott (aaronp@skillsource.org) or Dr. Sue Kane (suek@ncesd.org) to find out how you can help. Learn more at Apple/STEM website, as well as opportunities to get involved, by following them on Facebook.
Moses Lake Airshow - June 17-18, 2023
By: POML Staff Writer
Mark your calendars, the Port of Moses Lake will again be hosting the Moses Lake Airshow Father’s Day weekend, June 17th and 18th. Created to celebrate our history and our relationships, this extravaganza for aviation enthusiasts has grown into an attraction that brings out the locals and reels in visitors from around the state. Get an up-close look at parked aircraft on display and be awed by the heart-stopping aerial performances. From aircraft to music, to activities to food, there will be something for everyone to enjoy. 

Overhead expect to see Joint Base Lewis McCord’s C-17 Demo Team, Go EZ Aerobatics, Renegade AV8R, 10G Aerosports, Yellow Thunder, Red Fox, Mini Jet Airshows, a De Havilland Vampire, and fan favorite, Naval Air Station Whidbey Island’s Growlers. When pressed, Airport Direct Rich Mueller said, “While it’s impossible for me to pick a favorite, I have to say the Mini-Jet Show pilot and his wife are real class acts themselves. The Vampire is a rare bird I’ve not seen in nearly 18 years. We again have an incredible line-up.”

He added, “This is meant to be a true tourism attraction. Our goal is to draw from across the state and beyond as a top-drawer event. Economic opportunity is in the Port’s DNA, and that shows true in this event. We want visitors to have a great time, stay in our hotels, eat at our restaurants, and shop at our stores, and come back to visit. Our desire is that the entire community benefits from this event.”

Planning for 10,000 attendees, Mueller pointed out that the fun begins even before the show starts, “When people come out, they actually get to drive through the gates and past aircraft, park on the infield, and spend the day on what is normally an active runway,” he said.

Attendees can also bring their blankets, lawn chairs, parasols, and picnic baskets. Mueller strongly recommends wearing good shoes, breathable garments, and use good-quality sunscreen. It is also important to stay hydrated. While shade will be available, the best views seem to be out in the open. Available upgrades to increase one’s enjoyment include premier drive-in spots with exclusive space to spread out, VIP seating and even a day in the Dragon’s Lair, where seating, food and drinks are all included.

While the airshow keeps getting bigger and better, airshow organization itself has had a growth spurt. The Board of Directors has expanded to five multi-disciplinary members, “Who have already put us in far better shape than last year,” Mueller said. “From aerospace to hospitality trades, to accounting and IT, these local leaders have volunteered to bring their talents to the table while providing vision for years to come.” s://moseslakeairshow.com/volunteer/
Also new this year is the all-woman “Air Boss” team, responsible for coordinating aircraft movement on the ground and in the air. From the command platform at show center to the aircraft corral, known as the “Hot Ramp,” these ladies will be running the choreography and ensuring a safe, polished, and enjoyable experience. Of notable mention, the Hot Ramp boss is a former Big Bend Community College Flight School graduate and Certified Flight Instructor. She and her team will ensure each aircraft has everything needed to give a world-class performance.

About 200 volunteers are needed to make this event a success, and the work comes with perks. The airshow this year is contracting with area non-profit organizations to bring in volunteers, and in return making a donation to the local non-profit. Volunteers receive a free pass so they can come back and enjoy the show as a spectator. Individual volunteers are likewise welcome. If you or your organization wish to volunteer, go here.
Tom Larkin - Mini Jet Airshows. Photo courtesy Moses Lake Airshow
“And the show wouldn’t happen without our sponsors, who provide financial donations as well as in-kind contributions,” Mueller said, “We owe a great deal to our benefactors. Many donors have generously returned to support us in 2023. We hope our guests take a moment to appreciate and patronize all the sponsors listed on our website and promoted at the show.”

The Port of Moses Lake is pleased to be a Presenting Sponsor alongside Boeing, Gesa Credit Union, and the City of Moses Lake. Supporting Sponsors include Million Air and ReyComm; Feature Sponsors include Basin Pacific and Weinstein Beverage Company. From the hospitality side, hoteliers Best Western, Tenpin Inn & Suites, Comfort Suites, Ramada, and Wingate by Wyndham are working with the Airshow team to ensure performers have a place to rest and rejuvenate after entertaining the crowds.

Tickets are available online at: https://moseslakeairshow.com/

Be sure to follow the Moses Lake Airshow on Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok
News From Around our Region
'The new Cape Canaveral'
Charles Featherstone / Columbia Basin Herald
March 29, 2023: (MOSES LAKE, Wa) - “How can we help you?”

It was the question Gov. Jay Inslee asked several times on Tuesday during a visit to Moses Lake to meet with the heads of several local technology companies in aviation and advanced battery technology during separate roundtable discussions at the Grant County International Airport and Big Bend Community College.
Photo courtesy: Columbia Basin Herald
STOKE Space has been allocated historic Launch Complex 14 at Cape Canaveral
March 7, 2023: (KENT, Wash.) – Stoke Space, the rocket company building the world’s most efficient fully and rapidly reusable rocket, today announced they have been allocated Launch Complex 14 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida by the Space Launch Delta 45.
Photo courtesy: STOKE Space
GCIA hosts another first in electric flight
Charles Featherstone / Columbia Basin Herald
March 2, 2023: (MOSES LAKE, Wa) - It was another day for the aviation record books at the Grant County International Airport on Thursday.

“We are, I think, the second-largest hydrogen airplane ever to fly after the Tupolev 155, which the Soviet (Union) flew in 1988,” said Paul Eremenko, the co-founder and CEO of Hawthorne, California-based Universal Hydrogen. “But I think we can reasonably claim to the fact that we are the largest to cruise principally on hydrogen.”
Photo credit: Cheryl Schweizer/Columbia Basin Herald
REC reaches supply deal with solar panel maker
Charles Featherstone / Columbia Basin Herald
January 31, 2023: (Moses Lake, Wa) - REC Silicon announced Tuesday that it has reached an agreement to provide solar-grade silicon to South Korean solar panel maker Hanwha Solutions.
Photo courtesy: REC Silicon
After spending time in Moses Lake, Boeing bids farewell to an icon, delivers last 747 jumbo jet
Associated Press / Yoursourceone News
January 31, 2023: (SEATTLE, Wa) - Boeing bids farewell to an icon on Tuesday: It’s delivering its final 747 jumbo jet. That exact plane spent some time in Moses Lake last month for flight testing at the Grant County International Airport. 
Photo courtesy: POML
Eviation Says Path to Electric Aviation Is Now Clear: Q&A
Bloomberg NEF
January 16, 2023: Last year may mark a milestone in the race to fly aircraft that don't produce any carbon emissions. On Sept. 27, the all-electric aircraft Alice took off on its maiden flight from Grant County International Airport in Moses Lake, Washington. The plane flew for eight minutes, reached an altitude of 3,500 feet (1,066 meters) and a peak speed of 149 knots.
Photo courtesy: Eviation
Bill Gates’ climate investment firm is backing this reusable rocket startup
Diana Olick, CNBC
January 9, 2023: - Competition from private companies in the space race is heating up, whether it’s to the moon or Mars or beyond. But with ever more focus on clean fuels and reducing carbon footprints, some are tackling how to make the space race clean. 
Photo courtesy: STOKE Space
Moses Lake Airshow
June 17th and 18th, 2023
Mark your calendars for dads as again this event will be Father's Day weekend at Grant County International Airport. Buy tickets online via Moses Lake Airshow's website. Be sure to follow them on Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok channels.
7810 Andrews N.E. Suite 200
Moses Lake, WA 98837
Phone: 509.762.5363