“Not very educated, hate change, think liberals are evil, and don’t mind working a production line for minimum wage.” These were the words used by a Seattle blogger to describe South Carolinians. But, why?
This month Boeing, the worlds largest aircraft manufacturer, announced it is buying Vought Aircraft in Charleston, which serves as a production line for 787 jetliners, and it seems to some in South Carolina that these bloggers may just be scared to lose such a huge company. South Carolina Representative Chip Limehouse is one of them.
“That’s scare tactics. Those people are heavily union there, they know in South Carolina we can build cars and airplanes better than anybody else in the world; the Japanse, the Germans, or the people that drink coffee in Seattle. We’re good here. We can really build things, and we’ve got the workforce here. Our people in South Carolina can put together anything. We have a low union presence, that’s why you see a lot of companies wanting to move in this direction. So, we’re gonna have a lot of jobs,” says Limehouse.
Limehouse says it has not been confirmed, but he thinks Boeing is looking to move more capacity to South Carolina, including a possible final-assembly facility. That means the finished aircraft would fly out of South Carolina.
“Nothing against Seattle, but their loss is our gain. Boeing bought that portion of the Vought plant that was out there already, and myself and Representative Tim Scott and others went out there the several days ago to tour what they were doing, and see what they were doing, and it looks good. The future could be the sky, so to speak,” says Limehouse.
The plant may look good and beneficial to Limehouse, but the people in Seattle seem to disagree. One blogger wrote: “I can tell you I won’t be flying Boeing planes that are built in the south.”
Dan Restione is with 97.3 KIRO in Seattle and says business leaders in Seattle see the number of businesses buying and settling in South Carolina, which makes them unsettled.
“Well that kind of thing scares the crap out of people here in Seattle. We’re terrified we’re gonna lose Boeing, so you hate what you fear and you lash out, so what can I say?” says Restoine.
Limehouse says Boeing’s buy is part of the work of state leaders, and if Boeing continues to develop in the Palmetto state, the state’s future economy could see changes.
“And that’s gonna increase our capacity for jobs here immeasurably, and with Boeing making this a center instead of just a supplier, it could mean big news for the Charleston area. Working with the Commerce Department, Speaker Bobby Harrell, myself, and others, we wrote the legislation that provided the tax credits that got Vought here in the first place,” says Limehouse.
Limehouse says if Boeing does follow through with making Charleston a facility for final assembly, it could mean, “an economic boom the size of ten naval bases.