This Rural County Is Getting Rich Manufacturing Drones for the Military

Los Angeles is ground zero for movies, San Francisco for tech. And it looks like Klickitat County, Washington is the country’s hub for unmanned aerial vehicles.

According to Quartz, median income in the outdoorsy pear-growing county rose 23% between 2010 and 2013, thanks to the drone industry. Only five other counties saw faster growth, all gas-rich fracking hotspots.


But Klickitat? Its biggest employer in the region—the Columbia River Gorge region, an 80-mile stretch linking Washington and Oregon—is Insitu Group, a Boeing-owned drone maker. The drones made and tested there are mostly for the military, but as the tech continues to grow at breakneck pace, it’s likely the region will produce more drones for non-military use.

Postcards of county’s pear trees and sweeping vistas of the Cascades could soon be filled with flocks of drones.


Image credit: Wikimedia Commons


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