All of Missouri has a stake in the Boeing proposal being debated today in the state senate. The big effort to get a Boeing airliner factory in St. Louis has ripples extending statewide. Supporters of the proposed financial plan to lure Boeing here say more jobs will be created outside the St. Louis area than at the factory proposed for St. Louis County. County Executive Charley Dooley says, “This entire state is going to benefit. Every congressional district benefits from this opportunity.”
St. Louis Chamber of Commerce executive Joe Reagan underscores that idea for a senate committee, noting, “Last year Boeing conducted more than $830 million in business with nearly 700 Missouri-based vendors supporting an estimated 30,000 direct and indirect Missouri jobs.” That’s almost four times the maximum number of jobs anticipated at a factory near Lambert-St. Louis airport.
The head of a company in Eminence, in southeast Missouri, says defense spending cutbacks could hurt his small business that has been supplying parts to Boeing’s fighter plane lines and a commercial airliner plant would open new doors for his firm. A woman owning a parts-making company in St. Charles worries some of her 135 workers will lose their jobs unless Boeing replaces defense production that’s being phased out with commercial aircraft operation.
And President Rodney Crim of the St. Louis Economic Council sounds like a coach before a big game: “We have to go for this,” he says, “This is really ours to win.”.
Boeing wants Missouri’s best offer by the close of business next Tuesday.