Ask any politician how Georgia does in the aerospace industry and you will hear a very positive answer like “great.” The truth is Georgia does great in the aeronautics side of aerospace– and the little known fact is Georgia does very poorly with the space side of the industry with less than 1/10 of 1 percent market share of a huge $330 billion space industry. Some legislators compare the space industry in Georgia to the film industry. The film industry was paid little attention by Georgia until we started to ask key industry players for their business and then they were all too eager to locate here to the point where Georgia is now realizing over $2 billion of annual revenue from the film industry.
So, it is time for Georgia legislators to wake up again. Alabama, Texas, and Florida, are all stealing space industry jobs from Georgia when our state actually has significant advantages over them. For example, Georgia Tech produces more aerospace engineers than any program in the country. When they graduate, 95 percent of that Georgia-educated intellectual capital leave the state for employment in other states. These are STEM jobs commanding over $100K/year in wages that are the kind of jobs we want to retain. These engineers would be a robust pipeline of talent to any space industry company planning to build a new headquarters, laboratory, testing facility, or manufacturing facility in Georgia.
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