Construction of the Boeing 787 jetliner is now cleared for takeoff,as a festive groundbreaking marked the beginning of what SC Senate President Pro Tempore Glenn McConnell calls, “a new page in South Carolina history.”
South Carolina Radio Network’s Michael Brown was there to capture the sights and sounds.
Today’s podium of dignitaries included: President and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes Jim Albaugh; South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford; Sen. Lindsey Graham; Sen. Jim DeMint; Rep. Henry Brown; Rep. James Clyburn; State Sen. Hugh Leatherman; State Sen. Glenn McConnell; State Rep., Speaker of the House Bobby Harrell; Charleston County Council Chairman Teddie Pryor, Sr.; North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey and other key officials from South Carolina. Anita Zucker, chairperson and CEO of The InterTech Group, Inc., served as master of ceremonies for the event.
Also in attendence, about 1000 workers who are looking forward to what the new plant brings to a state that this week reached an employment rate of 12.1 –making it one of the nation’s worst. Boeing expects to bring in 3,800 jobs to the area in the next seven years.
Landing Boeing was an economic development effort for the state that called for political enemies to put aside–for a short time–what had become bitter disputes. Senate Finance Chair Hugh Leatherman today said, “”Even legislators, who sometimes cannot agree what day it is, came together and affirmed that Boing was right for South Carolina and South Carolina is right for Boeing. You know, on that day we took the votes, there were no Democrats or Republicans in the State House. We were all simply South Carolinians with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and we seized that opportunity.”