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Former GSI employee to lead statewide focus on growing Washington’s aerospace industry

Oct. 31, 2018 Updated Wed., Oct. 31, 2018 at 7:13 p.m.

Robin Toth works for the state Department of Commerce as the aerospace industry sector lead.
Robin Toth works for the state Department of Commerce as the aerospace industry sector lead.

Robin Toth helped Eastern Washington’s aerospace manufacturing industry grow through her job at Greater Spokane Incorporated.

Now, she’s taking those skills to the state Department of Commerce.

Toth will head the state’s public-private efforts to grow Washington’s $69 billion aerospace industry.

“Washington has the most efficient and innovative aerospace supply chain in the world,” Toth, GSI’s former director of business development, said in a statement.

She said she’ll be working with aerospace companies “to keep Washington in a league of its own for the next generation of aircraft manufacturing and jobs.”

Toth starts her new job Thursday.

“I believe Washington will be well served with her in that position,” said Todd Mielke, GSI chief executive. “She is probably one of the most knowledgeable people in the state with regard to the aerospace industry sector. She has a strong understanding of what’s going on in that industry throughout the state.”

Toth is a member of Gov. Jay Inslee’s New Middle-Market Airplane Executive Council.

Boeing unveiled plans for the new jetliner, informally called the 797, at last year’s Paris Air Show. Washington officials are trying to ensure Boeing builds the new plane in the state.

The middle-market plane would have room for 220 to 270 passengers and travel distances of about 5,200 nautical miles, filling a niche for Boeing.

The new plane would travel longer distances than the company’s 737 airliners, but would be less costly to operate than the 787 Dreamliner, which is intended for long-haul travel.

Before she worked at GSI, Toth was the city of Spokane’s economic development project planner. She studied transportation at Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, California, and business administration at Eastern Washington University.

Building the new airplane in Washington would likely create spinoff jobs for Spokane area manufacturers.

Aerospace is a $270 million industry in Spokane County, employing about 4,300 people. Many of those workers have jobs at companies that make parts for Boeing’s massive supply chain.

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