EVERETT, Wash. - Gov. Jay Inslee wants to convince Boeing that Everett is the best place in the world to design and build the next generation 777.
The company has built nearly 11,000 models of the current plane in Everett, but is still assessing where to assemble a more fuel-efficient 777X and its carbon fiber wings.
Inslee outlined a strategy for winning the project today that includes getting lawmakers to fund road and bridge improvements, so Boeing can more easily move parts and employees through the region.
The governor wants more money to train aerospace workers. He also wants a faster and more efficient permitting process to get assembly going in Everett.
Those steps may not be enough. Aviation consultant Scott Hamilton says Everett is a logical place to build the plane with its skilled workforce and a production line already in place. He also says, "this is a not a done deal, Boeing is doing what it does best and it's holding Washington hostage and playing it off against other states."
Hamilton points out that South Carolina put up a reported $1 billion in tax breaks and incentives to win a 787 assembly line in Charleston. He says, "that's going to be tough for Washington to come up with those kinds of numbers."
A KIRO 7 News crew asked the governor if he's willing to match other states dollar for dollar, and how much he's willing to spend to land the 777X. He repeated that the most important elements to win the airplane have to do with skilled labor, transportation, and permitting. The governor is willing to talk about incentives with Boeing. He says, "we know how to negotiate with airplane companies, sometimes to do things on the tax side to win contracts, and we'll do the right thing again to win this airplane.