The Washington State Legislature today approved two measures that support and promote long-term job growth in Washington state and provide funding and facilities for worker training. Sen. Doug Ericksen, who served on the 777X Legislative Task Force, co-sponsored the measures, which received broad legislative support to secure in-state manufacturing of Boeing’s new 777X line.
“The aerospace industry is key to Washington’s economy and by keeping these high-quality jobs in state we’re able to keep more people working,” said Ericksen, R-Ferndale. “Whatcom County alone has thousands of aerospace employees, and the surrounding small- and medium-sized businesses benefit when the community is working.”
The first measure extends and increases tax incentives through 2040 if Boeing’s new 777X line and essential parts, like a new carbon-fiber wing, are built in Washington. A tax incentive valued at $1.4 billion, adopted in 2003, has to date brought in more than $3 billion in tax dollars from Boeing.
Other changes include additional funding for skills training at community and technical colleges and to expedite development-permit processes.
“This serves as a reminder for the need to dramatically improve permitting systems, regulations and other concerns like workers compensation for all businesses,” continued Ericksen. “Spending more tax dollars can speed up the process, but what we really need to focus on is creating systems that get the job done quickly and correctly in the first place. As we near the 2014 legislative session I look forward to working with the business community and government to address these issues.
“It’s clear that cutting down unnecessary time, costs and involvement for permits can help all businesses be more successful. I’m looking forward to demonstrating to my colleagues that if it works for the largest companies, it will work for businesses of all sizes who power our local economy.”
The Legislature overwhelmingly approved the measures on the third day of a special session called to secure future aerospace jobs.