Boeing is expected to make a decision soon on the location for its new plant. But while South Carolina’s business leaders have good reason to be optimistic, they’re nervous.
Boeing, the largest manufacturer of commercial jetliners and military aircraft, originated near Seattle and still has much of its production there, and there’s no current plan to move it. But what is up for grabs is a new assembly line for its 787 jets, which the company is seriously thinking about locating in North Charleston(either that or a location near Seattle), thanks to South Carolina’s labor pool and less union-intensive profile.
State business leaders have known about Boeing narrowing it’s decision for a while.
And the timing of the Boeing search for a home is difficult, since the state of South Carolina is right now working toward rebuilding its Unemployment Trust Fund.
Options that officials are currently looking at are increasing the employee wage base upon which unemployment insurance contributions for businesses are based,and putting a surcharge on unemployment compensation. South Carolina Chamber President Otis Rawl says the Boeing company falling out of favor with the state of Washington is an example of what South Carolina does not want to have happen.
Rawl says currently South Carolina has one of the lowest business costs in the country.
“Our concern is with companies like Boeing looking to locate here,” said Rawl. “They’re experiencing large unemployment compensation payments and worker’s comp now, in Washington, and their governor is trying to do something. If we go in that direction, that’s several thousand jobs coming to South Carolina that could be put in jeopardy if we don’t do this just right.”
Boeing’s decision is expected by early November.