Washington State pitches 787 Line 2
Washington State last week made a pitch to the new Boeing Commercial Airplanes CEO James Albaugh for locating the second 787 assembly line in Everett, the home of Boeing’s wide body production.
Charleston (SC) is competing for the line.
The 32 page State white paper provided Albaugh is here. WA787 Sept09
The State outlines the economic advantages it believes Washington has over competing states, including South Carolina.
The new report provides an interesting contrast to one published in April by Deloitte Consulting, paid for by the State but commissioned by the Economic Development Council of Snohomish County. The Deloitte report marked Washington down in a number of competitive areas compared with other states. The study released today by Washington State paints a different picture, including some recent rankings by Forbes and the Tax Foundation.
The new study also touches on the risk factors of not placing Line 2 at Everett, noting the experienced workforce. While Washington isn’t blunt enough to say there is higher risk in locating Line 2 in Charleston because of the lack of an experienced workforce, we’ve had no need to be politically correct: Everett’s experienced SPEEA and IAM workers have had to spend the last two years fixing engineering, design and production issues originating in the outsourcing to Japan, Italy and–importantly–Charleston.
We believe it would be folly to locate Line 2 anywhere but Everett because of this history and the continuing program risks well into the future. Boeing cannot afford any more risks along these lines.
The new Washington study touches on the biggest elephant in the room without going into another area of intense political sensitivity: the historically poor labor relations between Boeing and the IAM, which struck the company for 57 days last year, disrupting production and delivery of all 7-series lines.
The State report notes that there are improving labor relations and elected officials are committed to helping this process. But in the end, only Boeing management and IAM leadership can solve this issue, and this is why the State doesn’t delve into it except superficially.