Caden Stockwell

Age: 29

Mechanical engineer, Pacific Aerospace

Adopted by a Wenatchee family at the age of 9 from an orphanage in Vietnam, Caden Stockwell didn’t know a word of English when he arrived. He has since graduated from Washington State University with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering.

He started his career as a prototype engineer at Pacific Aerospace and Electronics, where he developed, designed and conducted testing of new products for large defense contractors. He is now a program manager, responsible for large defense contractor accounts and managing an integrated product team. His accomplishments include implementing 3-D printing for quick turn prototypes, growing the company’s infrared system sector and leading some of the company’s biggest defense systems.

He helped tutor other engineers in college and has shared his experience with high school and WVC students. He is an active member in the Wenatchee Velo club, racing all over the state.

What challenges do you see ahead, and what do you believe needs to be done to get prepared?

With COVID-19 disrupting so many of our lives and with the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccines, we are beginning to think about what life will look like on the other side of the pandemic. And while most of us are ready to leave behind the restrictions on everyday life, some of the impacts the pandemic has had on our community will be harder to shake.

I believe affordable housing is a big challenge that we have in our community. With many people working from home and people moving into the area buying houses with cash, it has caused a steady increase in housing prices and driving low inventory.

For an average person, rental prices have become less affordable and to buy a house, you’re getting yourself into a bidding war. Supply is so far behind demand in the housing market.

I believe that our developers need to focus more on affordable housing, ensuring that the local housing supply fits locally employed workers’ ability to afford it.

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