The BDB facilitated an incentive package from the State of Florida and Palm Beach County and assisted with their permitting enabling Sikorsky to produce the next generation of heavy lift helicopters, the CH-53K right here in Palm Beach County.

"The Palm Beach region has a growing aerospace industry and strong upper educational institutions that provide a talented workforce. We have been expanding our facilities to support our new programs and expect to continue hiring."

Richard Holmberg, Vice President and General Manager, Lockheed Martin's operations in
Palm Beach County

Palm Beach County is a recognized national leader in the aviation/aerospace/engineering industry, with more than 20,000 employees in 629 businesses, including B/E Aerospace (the worldwide leading manufacturer of passenger-cabin interior products for jet aircraft), Lockheed Martin, Pratt Whitney, Aerojet Rocketdyne, and Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation, which manufactures the U.S. Army’s UH-60M BlackHawk helicopter here.

Palm Beach County’s A/A/E industry began with a series of small airstrips that became a World War II military installation and evolved into an international hub for commercial air travel and cargo, air defense projects, and high-tech manufacturing. The industry boomed in the 1990’s when based aircraft and rocket-engine company Pratt & Whitney restructured and dozens of A/A/E companies moved to the county to capitalize on its available workers.

Palm Beach County A/A/E expertise includes research, development and production of commercial and private aircraft, helicopters, rocket and propulsion systems, and aircraft parts. Thousands of engineers, draftsman, technical designers, and architects have designed major international electronics, aviation, chemical, biotech, energy, infrastructure, and aerospace projects. Support services companies including FBOs, flight training schools, parts suppliers, maintenance and repair facilities, and industry-specific sales and staffing support the county’s advanced high-tech design and manufacturing businesses.

Respected educational institutions work with private industry to provide Palm Beach County its competitive edge of a highly skilled and knowledgeable workforce.  Specialized programs include:

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University partners with Boynton Beach Community High School to create the Boynton Aerospace Science Academy, which provides state-of-the-art aviation, aviation maintenance, and aeronautical science studies free-of-charge. 

Florida Atlantic University’s College of Engineering and Computer Science bachelors, masters and doctoral degrees include computer science, physics, and electrical, mechanical, computer, ocean and geomatics engineering.  Cooperative education and internships are available, as well as cooperative research with businesses. 

Lynn University’s Burton D. Morgan School of Aeronautics provides bachelors and masters programs in aviation management, and numerous flight training certificate programs, fill the workforce needs of the global transportation industry.

Palm Beach State College’s Aeronautical Science program offers professional pilot and operations (flight or maintenance) management AS degree racks.  These are held in partnership with area flight schools, and prepare students to work in various aviation environments.

Where can you get more information?

Business Development Board of Palm Beach County
310 Evernia Street, West Palm Beach, FL 33401

Kelly Smallridge, President and CEO
Gary Hines, Senior Vice President, Administration

Brian Cartland, Vice President, Business Recruitment

Shawn Rowan, Vice President, Business Retention and Expansion

Shereena Dann, Vice President, Business Retention and Expansion

Luke Jackson, Vice President, The Glades Region