Wichita company honored as 2017 KS Governor's Exporter of the Year

WICHITA, Kan. A Wichita aerospace company has a reason to celebrate as the recipient of a prestigious honor. Monday, Kansas Lt. Governor Jeff Colyer visited the Air Capital to help recognize Lee Aerospace as the Kansas Governor's Exporter of the Year.

Lee Aerospace in part, engineers aircraft windows and windshields for aircraft manufacturers including Hawker Beechcraft, Cessna, and Bombardier Learjet. The Kansas Department of Commerce says the company "also assembles small and large-scale aero-structures as well as designs, engineers and manufactures aircraft composite parts and tooling."

Colyer says the exporter of the year is one of the more prestigious awards in the country. He says the selection process is rigorous and focuses on a company's competitive performance.

The department of commerce says companies are evaluated "on the totality of their international efforts." Qualifications include:

*Number and/or percentage increase in jobs due to international activities
*Innovations in global marketing
*Number of countries exported to
*Effective use of international distributors
*Long-range international strategies and prospects for future growth
*Commitment to the state and local community
*Foreign language promotional materials and general promotional activities
*Trade shows and/or international expositions

"We're talking about jobs in Kansas," Colyer says. "(The exporter of the year award)recognizes what a great job we're doing in the state. We have the best workforce in the nation."

He says Lee Aerospace's success shows how well Kansas can compete nationally and internationally.

"We are the Air Capital of the World and we're gonna keep competing and we're gonna move that ball a bit further," Colyer says.

Lee Aerospace President James (Jim) Lee attributed Monday's honor to the company's employees, he says have helped it grow for more than 30 years.

"I'm very proud of the company and all the people that work here," he says.