Boeing, the largest manufacturer of commercial jetliners and military aircraft, will be locating an assembly line in North Charleston, possibly bringing in 900 additional jobs. An announcement is expected at some point Wednesday afternoon from state lawmakers. Chicago-based Boeing has an original facility near Seattle and still has much of its production there, and there’s no current plan to move it. But what has been up for grabs is a new assembly line for its 787 jets.
The company had decided in recent weeks that it would locate the facility either in South Carolina, or keep it near the existing facility at Everett, Washington, near Seattle.
Winning Boeing is a major coup, similar to the BMW production plant in Greer. BMW involved $130 million in incentives in 1992. North Charleston already has two plants that make and assemble pieces of the Boeing 787. A second line is needed in addition to the one near Seattle because production is a few years behind schedule. About 2,500 workers are already employed at two North Charleston fuselage plants Boeing owns or co-owns.
The South Carolina Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday debated a bill providing sales tax exemptions for companies creating at least 3,800 jobs which invest $750 million over 7 years. The package would allow the issuance of $170 million of economic development bonds. The full Senate passed the incentive package Tuesday afternoon.
The Seattle Times reported Tuesday that discussions between Boeing and the Machinists union over the second 787 production line in the Seattle area are dead. Talks broke down over a proposed 10-year agreement for no strikes.
Workers at the North Charleston Boeing plant threw out the Machinists union last month.