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Illinois makes bid for Boeing manufacturing facility

Updated: December 11, 2013 8:25AM



lllinois on Tuesday officially became one of several states hoping to plant a welcome sign for Boeing workers as the aircraft company begins the process of choosing where to set up facilities to build its next-generation aircrafts.

The search began after union machinists at the company’s plant in Everett, Wash., voted on Nov. 14th to reject a new contract.

David Roeder, a spokesman for the Illinois Department of Commerce, confirmed Illinois’ bid was turned in Tuesday, but said he could not comment on what economic incentives, including tax breaks, were in it.

“We think this is a compelling proposal for a company that already has it’s headquarters in Illinois, but there’s a confidentiality agreement, so we can’t say anything else,” said Roeder, who the deal has the potential to create thousands of jobs.

Despite Boeing’s corporate offices in Chicago, the company has no manufacturing facilities in the state.

The aviation giant hopes to begin production on 777X jets in 2017, with delivery to customers by 2020. The new jets will offer improved fuel economy by swapping aluminum for a lightweight plastic composite in the wings.

“Our goal is to make a final decision by early next year,” said Boeing spokesman Doug Alder.

Alder would not say what other states offered proposals, but said the company received bids from “more than a dozen locations.”

Officials in Alabama, California, Missouri, South Carolina, Texas and Utah are among those who have spoken publicly about wooing Boeing with economic incentive packages worth millions of dollars.

“Our goal is to make a final decision by early next year,” said Alder.

The search comes after Washington state recently approved tax breaks valued at $9 billion over the coming years and passed legislation to improve aerospace training programs and permitting. Moves that were set back by the Boeing union vote.

In Missouri, where Boeing currently employs about 15,000 people, Gov. Jay Nixon on Tuesday signed into law a $1.7 billion tax incentive package. The tax credits are worth up to $150 million annually over 23 years if Boeing meets a target of 8,000 new jobs.

Contributing: AP

Email: mdudek@suntimes.com

Twitter: @mitchdudek



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