Mid-Missouri Looks to Grab Piece of Boeing Pie

Posted: Dec 2, 2013 2:26 PM by Nick Thompson, KOMU 8 Reporter
Updated: Dec 3, 2013 12:39 PM

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JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri lawmakers and Gov. Jay Nixon agreed over the Thanksgiving holiday to call a special session to lure a major manufacturer to the Show-Me State. Now, Mid-Missouri is hoping to get a piece of the pie if Boeing chooses to build a new plant in St. Louis.

Lawmakers returned to Jefferson City Monday afternoon and held meetings with their respective caucuses to prepare for the special session.

Gov. Jay Nixon called the special session Friday to bring lawmakers back to put together a tax incentive package for Boeing. Boeing is looking for somewhere to build the 777x, a brand-new commercial aircraft.

Boeing's roots are in Washington in the Seattle area, but the company recently could not come to an agreement with a union there. Now, as many as 15 states are competing aggressively to attract Boeing.

Nixon said Missouri will likely look to dole out $150 million worth of tax credits annually.

Boeing is the second largest employer in the St. Louis area, as more than 15,000 people work for the company's defense wing in north St. Louis County.

If Boeing locates to Missouri, the company would likely build the plant in the St. Louis area.
Ray McCarty, President of the Associated Industries of Missouri, told KOMU 8 news Monday the rest of the state would still see a benefit.

McCarty said many small towns throughout the state are home to "tier-2" and "tier-3" manufacturers - manufacturers that make smaller parts for bigger pieces of equipment.

"Even though Boeing is located in the St. Louis area, we have a lot of suppliers all over this state, many of them in small towns, that make pieces for machinery that is now being manufactured by Boeing," McCarty said. "It is our hope that if Boeing brings all that work into the state of Missouri it will increase business for those suppliers."

Matt McCormick, president and CEO of the Columbia Chamber of Commerce, told KOMU 8 News Monday it is still early in the process and he does not yet know the potential impact for Columbia.

McCormick said if Boeing decides to bring the work to Missouri, the chamber would look to build relationships between Boeing and tier-2 and tier-3 manufacturers in Columbia.

"If it's good for Missouri, it's good for all of us," McCormick said.

Boeing wants to see a proposal from each state by December 10th. Nixon said the General Assembly needs to act quickly this week.

Stay with KOMU 8 News for continuing coverage throughout this week's special session.

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