Governor Gary Locke’s Remarks
Boeing 7E7 Site Selection News Conference
December 16, 2003
Good evening. Thanks for joining us to celebrate the good news.
I am thrilled to be able to say: the 7E7 will be built in Everett, Washington!
This has been an inspiring example of team effort. I am joined tonight by part of the Action Washington team. This statewide, bipartisan effort has been unprecedented—and very successful.
We gave this our all. We persevered and persisted. We put together the most creative, compelling and economical proposal to Boeing. And we won!
We have the best workforce, suppliers, ports, location and the tax incentives that will make it cheaper to build the 7E7 in Washington. The cheaper it costs to build the plane, the more competitive the price will be to sell the plane. And that will translate into more sales.
We wanted to land the 7E7. We value the thousands of good paying jobs with good benefits that the new program will bring – whether in Everett or Moses Lake.
But there was much more at stake than the seven or eight thousand 7E7 new, direct jobs – as important as those jobs are. The future of aerospace manufacturing in our state was at stake.
If assembly of the 7E7 went elsewhere, other programs would likely follow. And soon the end of Boeing commercial airplane manufacturing in Washington state.
More than 100,000 direct and indirect jobs would be lost. Our state’s economic future would have been significantly compromised. We would have lost money for schools, social services and public safety – as much as a half-billion dollars a year.
But not on our watch.
We have a very proud and honored tradition in our state. For decades, we’ve built the best commercial airplanes in the world here. Boeing airplanes, made in Washington. From 707 to “triple-seven,” Boeing airplanes have been synonymous with our state.
My aunts and uncles helped build Boeing planes. And many of my cousins are among the ranks of engineers now designing new Boeing planes.
But times have changed. The airplane business has changed. The global economy has changed. Boeing has changed. Our state needed to change, too.
And we did. We’ve worked hard to make our state more business friendly over the past few years. And we pulled out all the stops to submit a highly competitive proposal to build the Dreamliner here.
Winning final assembly of the 7E7 continues our strong and successful partnership with Boeing. It means our state will continue to be an aerospace center for decades to come.
We competed nationally, and we won. This serves notice to companies all over the world that Washington is definitely open for business. Open for business in a way we’ve never been before.
Today, a new era begins. A new era for Boeing and Washington state. We are strategic partners. Together, we will continue to build the world’s greatest airplanes. Together with our other great companies, we will continue to build a vibrantly successful economy in our state.
We will help Boeing build the most efficient, cost-effective airplane ever. We issue a friendly warning to Airbus: look out—the next great commercial airplane is headed for the market. As usual, it is a Boeing airplane. And it will knock your socks off!
We are very proud that Everett has been selected. This is a great victory—for Everett, and for our state.
I want to thank the many partners in Action Washington who made today possible—state agencies, state and local leaders, business and labor leaders, economic development councils, tribes, ports, and many others. We have been unified in showcasing our state’s global competitiveness. Together, we’ve developed a powerful collaborative model for business retention and recruitment efforts.
We’ve shown that together, we can make a difference and chart a strong course for our state. This is a great day for Washington.
Tomorrow marks the 100th anniversary of powered flight.
Working together, we will make sure that Boeing leads the way into the next century with the 7E7. We can’t wait to get started!