Hit hard by the collapse of the airplane market, Boeing will decide as early as next month whether to consolidate its two 787 Dreamliner assembly lines in Washington and South Carolina at a single site. If it does, the 30,000-employee widebody jet plant in Everett is expected to be the loser.
That decision would have dire consequences for Boeing’s local workforce, and the regional supplier network that directly employs as many as 10,000 others.
Such a scenario has haunted employees and community leaders since Boeing shocked the region in 2009 by announcing it would build its second 787 assembly line in North Charleston, S.C. — its first jetliner plant outside Washington state.
“It’s a continuation of the strategy put in place years ago to not be as dependent on Puget Sound. Over the long haul, the idea was we’d consolidate there,” said a former senior Boeing leader, who asked not