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California among states vying for Boeing jet plant

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From page A11 | December 11, 2013 | 5 Comments

LONG BEACH — California is one of at least a half-dozen states vying for Boeing’s attention as the aircraft giant selects a production site for its new 400-seat 777X jetliner.

A deal to bring the facility to California could create thousands of jobs and resuscitate the once-vibrant Southern California aerospace industry.

Boeing Co. solicited bids from a number of states in November, and bidders have until mid-December to act, company spokesman Doug Alder Jr. said Tuesday.

Boeing began receiving replies this week and will begin reviews in several days, he said. Officials in Alabama, California, Missouri, South Carolina, Texas and Utah are among those who have spoken publicly about wooingBoeing with economic incentive packages worth millions of dollars.

California officials have been tight-lipped about what they are offering, but the stakes are high. Boeingannounced in September that it would cease production of its C-17 Globemaster III military cargo jet in 2015 and shutter its Long Beach production facility, which provides 3,000 jobs and has been a backbone of the regional economy.

Richard Aboulafia, an aerospace analyst with Fairfax, Va.-based Teal Group, said California might have an uphill battle sealing a deal to build the 777X, despite the benefits available in Long Beach.

Boeing might instead prefer to sell its property there and profit from high real estate prices, he said.

“You have expensive real estate, tight labor supply, union issues, environmental regulations and geographic constraints. No one’s really thinking, Oh, it’s perfect for large, heavy scale manufacturing,” Aboulafia said. “It doesn’t quite add up.”

Still, the office of Gov. Jerry Brown has worked closely with Long Beach officials to put together a strong incentive package, said Vice Mayor Robert Garcia, who declined to provide details.

The city is near a deep-water Pacific port, rail lines and an airport, he said, and already has a trained aerospace workforce.

“I think a big portion of our future in aerospace is going to be dependent on if we’re selected for this site,” Garcia said. “There are thousands of people who rely on these good jobs, with good wages and good benefits and they built a lot of (the) middle class in Long Beach and in the region.”

California faces stiff competition. Many other states in the Boeing hunt have been secretive about their proposals, but at least two have gone public with what they can offer.

Washington state, which recently lost 777X production after union machinists rejected a proposed contract withBoeing, recently approved tax breaks valued at $9 billion over the coming years and passed legislation to improve aerospace training programs and permitting.

In Missouri, where Boeing currently employs about 15,000 people, Gov. Jay Nixon on Tuesday signed into law a $1.7 billion tax incentive package. The tax credits are worth up to $150 million annually over 23 years ifBoeing meets a target of 8,000 new jobs.

California lawmakers approved a tax-credit program for companies that are expanding or relocating to the state. Up to $30 million could be available in tax credits this fiscal year and as much as $200 million in the fiscal years ending in 2016 and 2018, according to the state website.

The credits will be allocated based on a number of factors, including how many jobs a company brings to the state, how much it invests and how long it plans to do business in California.

It’s unclear if these credits are a part of the state’s proposal to Boeing.

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

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Discussion | 5 comments

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  • Rich GiddensDecember 10, 2013 - 5:41 pm

    Sorry but those jobs belong to South Carolinians. Boeing bought up 300 additional acres at it's Charleston campus. Boeing also last week released its list of site criteria they seek. RIGHT TO WORK STATE. Deep water sea port. Close to suppliers---they already moved to the Carolina's to be close to the Dreamliner plant in Charleston. Outstanding highways and rail hub, technical colleges, trained work force, 9000 foot long runway, friendly people, no taxes, low regulations, no unions! TOO BAD CALIFORNIA. YOU LOSE.

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  • Rudy MadronichDecember 11, 2013 - 9:36 am

    Their is no way that the new plane will be built in Long Beach let alone any where in California. California is one of the most unfriendly states to do business in. With The Union demands environmental regulations, High taxes, workman's comp costs. And people wonder why Business and Company's are leaving this state. My bet is that South Carolina will get the work, it is a right to work state and much more business friendly state to do business in

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • CD BrooksDecember 11, 2013 - 10:22 am

    I agree, probably come down to STL and SC. They're both offering property and incentives that will attract the business. I've been by the Boeing plant in Missouri several times, they have a large presence all ready, so they might get the nod?

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  • Rich GiddensDecember 11, 2013 - 12:01 pm

    CD---- I took the first F18's from the plant at Lambert field to Australia back in 1984. Missouri is a Unionista state. Boeing's business is such that it can't afford work stoppages and union problems because of the critical supply line where assemblies and parts are delivered at precisely the right time for the manufacturing process.

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  • ErnestoDecember 16, 2013 - 10:28 am

    Very hard Boeing goes to Ca., Boeing is a Oregon state company, most probable Texas or NM.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
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