Boeing chooses Everett, Washington for its new 7E7 assembly plant

Tuesday, December 16th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

TULSA, Okla. (AP) _ Everett gets the Dreamliner. Tulsa gets to keep on dreaming.

Govenor Brad Henry called the Boeing Co.'s announcement Tuesday that it will build its new 7E7 Dreamliner passenger plane in Everett, Wash., ``disappointing.''

But ``we shouldn't let it diminish the fact that Oklahoma was still a big winner in the Boeing selection process,'' he said.

The company announced last month that its Tulsa facility would manufacture wing components for the 7E7, bringing 500 new jobs. Henry said that work alone will generate millions of dollars in Oklahoma.

``I'm not sure we would have landed those jobs had we not been so aggressive and competitive in our pursuit of the 7E7 assembly plant,'' Henry said.

Tulsa County residents had approved $350 million in incentives in hopes of luring the 7E7 plant's 1,200 jobs. The state also had put together an incentives package, which officials declined to disclose Tuesday.

Tulsa was among 30 cities vying for the plant.

Everett was chosen as the building site over Kinston, N.C.; Charleston, S.C.; and Mobile, Ala., according to a Seattle Post-Intelligencer, which first reported the decision. But Henry said Oklahoma also was among a handful of finalists.

He said the state's proposal couldn't overcome ``intangibles,'' in Washington State, ``particularly Boeing's loyalty to its home base manufacturing facility there.''

Henry said Oklahoma's Boeing proposal can be used to help lure other business to the state.

``Because we were so competitive in this national competition,'' he said, ``Oklahoma is now on the radar screen of many companies that may not have considered us as a potential destination state in the past.''