Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Boeing Long Beach

As promised, a follow-up to my piece from the other day, "The End is Near for Southern California's Conventional Aircraft Manufacturing."

Here's the old Boeing 717 plant at Lakewood and Carson in Long Beach:


A wistful view from across Faculty Avenue. Notice the jetliner taking off above Long Beach Airport. And also the flag atop the Boeing corporate offfice, which I looked out at everyday from the old M Building classrooms at the Liberal Arts Campus at my college:


What also astounded me was the massive size of this facility. It's probably close to an eighth of a mile long:


When I started at Long Beach City College in 2000, the plant was humming with activity. Now it's idle, almost like a ghost town.



Here's the view of the corporate offices looking north from Lakewood Boulevard:


Unless global demand picks up, I doubt there'll be much change at the commercial facility here. That said, Democrat Representative Linda Sánchez is working to keep operations running at the Boeing C-17 plant on the other side of the airport:
Long Beach. Rep. Linda Sánchez, D-Lakewood, recently spoke with Dennis Muilenburg, CEO of Boeing Defense, Space & Security, about how to reverse the proposed 900 Boeing layoffs in Long Beach.

The downsizing, announced late Wednesday, is the latest in a series of reductions to Long Beach's once-mighty aerospace industry, where employment has dropped from more than 20,000 in the 1990s to less than 7,000 today.

Boeing said the cuts are needed to prepare for a reduced C-17 production schedule, which is 14 annually, to 10 beginning this summer.

Sánchez - a member of the President's Export Council along with Boeing President and CEO W. James McNerney - offered her assistance in working with Congress and asked about several options that might help the plant remain operative, such as reforms to export controls and overseas promotion of the C-17.

She also stressed the importance of these jobs to her constituents and the impact the job losses will have on the region.
More later ...