The Herald of Everett, Washington
HeraldNet on Facebook HeraldNet on Twitter HeraldNet RSS feeds HeraldNet Pinterest HeraldNet Google Plus HeraldNet Youtube
HeraldNet Newsletters  Newsletters: Sign up | Manage  Green editions icon Green editions

Calendar


HeraldNet Headlines
HeraldNet Newsletter Delivered to your inbox each week.
Published: Tuesday, May 7, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
In Our View: The future of Boeing


The Inslee aerospace vision

Aerospace, like timber and agriculture, is embedded in the soil: The Pacific Northwest has seeded and harvested engineers since William Boeing tested his Model C naval trainer in 1916.
While the industry is diverse, with 200 aerospace suppliers between Arlington and Bothell alone, Boeing remains the big Kahuna -- a colossus the Northwest could lose by attrition to the Palmetto State. To hint at moving seems alarmist, but hints galvanize policymakers.
Boeing CEO Jim McNerney called Everett an "attractive place" to manufacture the next generation of Boeing 777s, The Herald's Michelle Dunlop reports, but Snohomish County's largest employer can be a fickle suitor.
A couple of generations and the era of Bill Allen and T Wilson was supplanted by Phil Condit's age of hubris. There was the 1997 McDonnell Douglas merger, and the uprooting of corporate headquarters to a Midwest city that will go unnamed. Boeing's board of directors (someone push the panic button) has no Everett-Seattle-Renton roots.
Washington nevertheless has the foundational goods that can't be duplicated in South Carolina, and company directors understand that. Boeing has invested $1 billion in its Everett plant over the past 5 years.
A vital infrastructure, broadly defined, has a rising-tide effect. The centerpiece of a keep-'em-here strategy elevates higher ed, K-12, and transportation. It's another reason why lawmakers shouldn't punt on a special-session transpo package.
Gov. Jay Inslee is positioned to articulate a comprehensive strategy and a strong, clear vision on aerospace. Does he have a game plan and a means to implement it? A blueprint won't be as entertainingly mercenary as South Carolina's $120 million Boeing giveaway, but it should mollify the aerospace sector about predictability, that its vitality and Washington's economic health are interdependent.
In the final years of the Gregoire era, aerospace execs developed a sense of trust that state government could adapt and work in common cause. And with a visit to Everett this week, Inslee will have a platform to underscore his strategy.
Everett Mayor Ray Stephanson and regional leaders have quietly urged an Inslee sit-down with McNerney to graduate "attractive place" to the no-question place. It's a manageable goal. A promising, bipartisan sign is the Senate Majority Coalition's apparent willingness to yield and support the Governor's Office of Aerospace.
The Washington Aerospace Partnership, along with labor and business, are mobilized to help. A healthy aerospace sector is more about leadership than it is politics. It's embedded in the soil.

Share your comments: Log in using your HeraldNet account or your Facebook, Twitter or Disqus profile. Comments that violate the rules are subject to removal. Please see our terms of use. Please note that you must verify your email address for your comments to appear.

You are logged in using your HeraldNet ID. Click here to update your profile. | Log out.

Our new comment system is not supported in IE 7. Please upgrade your browser here.

comments powered by Disqus
digital subscription promo

Subscribe now

Unlimited digital access starting at 99 cents, or included with any print subscription.

loading...

Herald Editorial Board

Jon Bauer, Opinion Editor: jbauer@heraldnet.com

Carol MacPherson, Editorial Writer: cmacpherson@heraldnet.com

Neal Pattison, Executive Editor: npattison@heraldnet.com

Josh O'Connor, Publisher: joconnor@heraldnet.com

Have your say

Feel strongly about something? Share it with the community by writing a letter to the editor. Send letters by e-mail to letters@heraldnet.com, by fax to 425-339-3458 or mail to The Herald - Letters, P.O. Box 930, Everett, WA 98206. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We'll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 250 words or less, we wonít ask you to shorten it. If your letter is published, please wait 30 days before submitting another. Have a question about letters? Contact Carol MacPherson at cmacpherson@heraldnet.com or 425-339-3472.

HeraldNet highlights

Nothing but corn
Nothing but corn: Everett Mall business grew from a kernel of an idea
History at every turn
History at every turn: Website finds stories behind county's historic corners
Cold-weather playtime
Cold-weather playtime: Beyond skis & snowboards: 11 ways to have fun in winter
The real bottom line
The real bottom line: Millions spent in Oso, but generosity can't be measured
SnoCoSocial