This is the time of the year when many of us are feverously working on budgets. My own crystal ball is particularly murky this year as COVID-19 has created more uncertainty than usual about the future of the real estate market in South Carolina.
Our state received excellent economic news on October 1, however, when Boeing issued a press release announcing the company will consolidate the production of its widebody jet in North Charleston. Our gain is Washington State’s loss. This move seeks to improve efficiencies during the market downturn caused by the pandemic to position the company for recovery and long-term growth.
The change won’t happen immediately. The press release indicated Boeing will continue to manufacture its 787-8 and 787-9 jets in Everette, Washington until it reaches its previously announced rate cut to six jets per month, which will probably occur sometime in mid-2021.
The release said that a company study confirmed the feasibility and efficiency gains created by consolidation will enable the company to accelerate improvements and target investments to better support customers. The North Charleston plant has lower production costs because labor is less expensive in South Carolina, and it’s a non-union plant.
Anyone who has driven from Columbia to Charleston has witnessed the extensive growth in the North Charleston area of not only Boeing, but the industries and housing developments that support Boeing. This is excellent news for us at a time when we need it!