Long Beach touts workforce assets in bid for Boeing 777X work

150 150 Cheryl Getuiza

(courtesy of Boeing)
Most of us know the tune. “Dah dah dah dah dah…” It’s the final question tune from the game show, “Jeopardy.” I guess you can say that tune is California’s theme song right now, as we await word from Boeing on what could be a game changer for the state’s economy.

“The Governor’s Office of Economic and Business Development submitted a proposal and bid to Boeing, this month. Now we are in a wait-and-see mode,” said Brook Taylor of GO-Biz. “For the next month, we will probably go through several conversations with Boeing, as they narrow down their decision.”

Boeing began looking for a new location to build a new airplane, the 777X, after union workers in Washington rejected a contract offer that would have kept the work there. The 777X is expected to bring thousands of well-paying jobs wherever it lands.

If the world’s leading aerospace company picks the Golden State, the facility would be located in Long Beach, which already has a long history and relationship with the aerospace industry.

In fact, many of the city’s educational institutions have helped with preparing a skilled workforce. Top leaders from Long Beach City College, the Long Beach Unified School District and the California State University of Long Beach are working together to woo Boeing.

“Long Beach City College is committed to meeting regional workforce needs and meeting Boeing’s training needs,” said Lou Anne Bynum, Executive Vice President of College Advancement & Economic Development at LBCC. “The College has partnered with Boeing in the past on a number of aviation-related jobs programs and recently partnered with Boeing to earn a $2.75 million Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College & Career Training (TAACCCT) grant from the Department of Labor to build engineering technology training programs to support the growing engineering design center that Boeing has established across the street from our campus.”

“The College has a very robust workforce development and contract training programs that focus on just in time training needs of local industry. The College has a wide range of industrial and technical programs to draw from to serve Boeing’s and related firms with focused training to meet skill-specific job needs.”

Should Boeing choose Long Beach, you can bet it will be a regional effort to ensure a workforce is ready. It’s the region’s skilled workforce that commenters have said has kept Long Beach in the hunt for the 777X work. And with manufacturing of the C-17 military cargo plane in Long Beach soon to shut down, a successful bid would come none too soon for the middle-class workforce there.

Besides California, 21 other states submitted proposals including Georgia, Missouri, Illinois, Texas, Utah and Kansas. Already the company has begun eliminating some on the list. North Carolina and Pennsylvania have been cut from Boeing’s list. A decision is expected to be made early next year. 

Cheryl Getuiza

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