Aerospace equipment suppliers in WNY: Local business environment assessment and industrial linkages
Ben Jaballah, Haithem
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This dissertation examines the factors that influenced the locational decisions of Western New York aerospace equipment manufacturing companies and explores the reasons that are anchoring these companies to the region. Particular attention is devoted to the importance of the global linkages to the local aerospace companies. Major shifts are taking place in the aerospace industry. However, there are no empirical studies on the aerospace companies in Western New York. Results of the in-depth interviews show that the founder’s origin is the main locational factor for the majority of local companies. Survey and interviews findings indicate that the local business environment in perceived to be average by the local aerospace companies. The findings also show a shortage of skilled labor with industry specific skills. What emerges from the research is that backward linkages in the region are weak, which explains to a great degree the absence of newly formed aerospace equipment manufacturing companies in the region. The results also confirm a lack of local suppliers of raw material and intermediate products. There seems to be a consensus on the lack of information and know-how sharing between local aerospace companies. However, the research shows a strong engagement in the global market and the importance of the international knowledge spillovers. Indeed, the majority of interviewed companies report having established joint ventures with foreign partners in emerging markets as a reaction to the emergence of foreign competition.