The state of Washington gave $9 billion in tax breaks to Boeing in order to keep the company in Puget Sound, and spent millions more to upgrade the Everett campus of WSU to accommodate the needs of the company in terms of its engineering and technical workforce. But Boeing's outsourcing a thousand engineering jobs to southern California, according to a recent announcement. That's gotta sting.
“We’re trying to leverage the expertise and experience of all the engineering workforce across the Boeing enterprise … to make sure we can ramp up and keep up with all the demands we’re facing in the next 20 years,” including the increased demand for new airplanes, said Doug Alder, spokesman for Boeing Commercial Airplanes. …
… “Southern California is attractive (to Boeing) because we can use the existing engineering workforce from the heritage McDonnell Douglas programs and tap into the cool, new talent coming from engineering schools in Southern California and really use those two together to come up with what we think will be a spectacular workforce,” Alder said.
A lot of folks believe that the company's intent is to get rid of older, more expensive engineers. As well, there was a bitter strike by Puget Sound engineers that, although ultimately settled, appears to have motivated the company to divert the bulk of its engineering and support technicians to the non-union facilities in southern California. Plus, the talent in the Seattle area's just not cool enough.
During the strike, the company made it clear that they were contemplating expanding production facilities in non-union South Carolina or possibly building new facilities in other states. And although a settlement was eventually reached, it looks as though the union boys nonetheless shot themselves in the foot.