At the end of April, the very first Boeing jetliner manufactured in South Carolina rolled out of the North Charleston Boeing plant. Great news for Boeing, for South Carolina, the Lowcountry, and the Upstate!
The 787 Dreamliner, the most sophisticated passenger jet available, is the first produced in the $750 million Boeing plant completed just last year. Not only was the plant a boon for the economy of the Charleston area - creating 9,000 new jobs - but it is also another feather in the cap for many Upstate businesses, such as the Taylors company who manufactured the trusses for the new plant or the Greer company who landed a contract with Boeing and was able to hire more workers because of it.
Jack Jones, the vice president and general manager of the plant, told reporters, "It's the fastest-selling plane going into production that Boeing has ever had. The company already has 854 orders from 59 customers."
South Carolina has a long record of producing skilled employees - including needed high-tech manufacturing workers - as the state's technical education system is now celebrating its 50th year. Though many around the country doubted SC's ability to do the job, The Seattle Times editorial written by Ron Brinson, a North Charleston city councilman, said it well for all South Carolinians: "Boeing brings out the best of South Carolina. Consider that its massive brand new production campus at North Charleston evolved from a standing start in 2009 to completion six months early, with nary a construction accident. This $775 million complex is a world-class, state-of-the-art manufacturing facility, laced with large and small environmental features, like a roof covered with solar-energy panels. Hundreds of permits were required, scores of government and intergovernmental actions were necessary. The requisite interagency bureaucracy seemed to flow flawlessly."
Brinson continued, "South Carolina thrives in the fiercely competitive foreign-investments markets. Last year, BMW announced yet another expansion of its Greenville-Spartanburg plant. This one will push production to 200,000 vehicles annually. Last month, Michelin announced a $700 million expansion in our state. Over the past 40 years, international firms invested more than $38 billion in South Carolina and created more than 150,000 jobs."
So once again, I'm proud to say I'm a South Carolinian. This is a great place to live and work! If you're thinking of moving to the area, give me a call! I'll be happy to provide you with all the information you'll need to make the right choice for you.