Thursday, October 29, 2009

Boeing's big expansion could mean local jobs

By T&D Staff Thursday, October 29, 2009

Boeing’s announcement that it will open a second jetliner production line in North Charleston could mean more jobs for Orangeburg County workers, local officials say.

“This will give us a great opportunity with the Global Logistics Triangle,” Orangeburg County Development Commission Chairman Jeannine Kees said. “We will get more looks and a lot more attention.

“We will take the spin-offs and that is fine.”

The Boeing Co. announced Wednesday it will put its second line for the 787 jetliner in North Charleston and not Everett, Wash. Officials say that in addition to the North Charleston jobs, there is also the possibility that Orangeburg County can land businesses that serve Boeing.

Kees said the project could bring attention to the Jafza Magna Park-Santee project, the John Matthews Industrial Park and the county’s speculative building at the Orangeburg County/City Industrial Park.

“We will get more lookers,” she said.

State Rep. Gilda-Cobb Hunter, D-Orangeburg, said, “I think it will have a tremendous impact on Orangeburg County, particularly eastern Orangeburg County because of its proximity to North Charleston. That is not a bad commute.”

Also, “There is an excellent opportunity for spin-offs in Orangeburg County. I think it puts Orangeburg County in a good situation,” she said.

State Sen. John Matthews, D-Bowman, echoed the sentiment, saying the benefits of economic development are not confined to one county.

Anything that helps one county in the region can help them all, he said. “There will be a tremendous benefit for all of us.”

Orangeburg County Development Commission Executive Director Gregg Robinson noted the county already supplies the aviation sector. For instance, Zeus Industries produces advanced polymers for the aviation industry.

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