Northwest Aerospace News — Issue No. 37 February | March 2024 — PNAA Conference Edition | Page 78


Founded in 1991 , Pathfinder Manufacturing has emerged as a leader in precision machining , fabrication , and assembly , serving aerospace , space , and defense . Initially known as the Work Force Development Center , the organization started with just 12 employees in an 8,000 sq . ft . facility in Everett . Over the years , it expanded its capabilities , moving to larger facilities , adding electrical assembly in 2005 , and incorporating CNC capabilities in 2014 .
Dave Trader , Pathfinder Manufacturing In 2022 , the organization
rebranded as Pathfinder Manufacturing and relocated to its current 42,000 sq . ft . facility in Everett and boasts a dedicated team of 65 fulltime employees alongside 32 high school trainees .
Pathfinder specializes in CNC machining , mechanical and electrical assembly , forming a crucial part of Boeing ' s Premier Bidder Program . The organization ' s remarkable track record for on-time delivery and quality has consistently earned it Boeing ' s Supplier Excellence award for the past 12 years .
growth and economic independence of high school students and adults with disabilities and / or employment barriers . The vision is to ensure that all disabled , at-risk students in the Puget Sound region graduate from high school equipped with the skills and confidence to succeed in life .
The organization ' s programmatic training approach involves a comprehensive cycle from September to June , including in-classroom training and on-the-job skills training with assigned mentors . Students undergo modules in various skills , from computer numerical control ( CNC ) to quality assurance , packaging , and shipping .
Today , Pathfinder is led by CEO David Trader , who joined Pathfinder in 1994 having held every position on the shop floor and has been in his current role since 2001 .
As a 501 ( c )( 3 ) non-profit , Pathfinder Manufacturing goes beyond conventional business models . It provides vocational skills training to at-risk high school juniors and seniors facing disabilities or socioeconomic disadvantages . Over the years , the organization has collaborated with 36 high schools in King , Snohomish , Kitsap , and Island counties , making a significant impact on the lives of young individuals facing unique challenges .
Pathfinder Manufacturing ' s mission is to operate as a " Work Force Development Center ," focusing on the personal
Apart from his role at Pathfinder Manufacturing , Trader is actively involved in advisory boards for organizations like Aerospace Joint Apprenticeship Committee ( AJAC ) and Everett School District ’ s Engineering and Manufacturing PAC . His commitment to community engagement is evident through his participation in boards such as Everett Rainbow Girls Assembly # 9 and Shoreline Community College Manufacturing Advisory Board .
Pathfinder Manufacturing ' s commitment to inclusion , diversity , and skills development exemplifies its role as a beacon in the aerospace industry . The Inspire Award serves as recognition of the organization ' s outstanding efforts to inspire and empower the next generation of aerospace professionals .
PNAA ’ s Inspire Award honors businesses and individuals in the aerospace community that have shown exceptional creativity in working with young people and diverse populations in an effort to promote diversity and inclusion in the aerospace industry and cultivate interest and skills leading to aerospace careers .