By Warren L. Wise
Boeing Co. soon will assemble all three versions of the 787 Dreamliner at its non-unionized plant in North Charleston.
The Chicago-based aerospace giant said Wednesday it will produce the 787-10 - the largest version of the popular, back-ordered commercial jetliner - exclusively at its factory beside Charleston International Airport.
The expansion won't result in any new jobs or new buildings, a company official said. But at least one aviation analyst says the airplane manufacturer will have to boost its work force to meet increased production goals while introducing a new line.
The 787-10 is the longest of the twin-aisle Dreamliner family, and the announcement of its construction here has been expected for months.
It also means Boeing will be producing a full line of one commercial jetliner for the first time away from a unionized plant.
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Gov. Nikki Haley, who privately toured the North Charleston factory Monday, called Boeing's announcement "huge" for South Carolina.
"That Boeing is committing the future of the Dreamliner to our state - the first place ever outside of Washington state that Boeing has built a commercial airplane - lets the whole world know that South Carolina workers are the best around. The success that Boeing South Carolina has become in less than five years is a testament to the Boeing leadership and, above all, the Boeing employees whose talent and dedication make all of us so proud."
U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham called the announcement "a terrific vote of confidence in the South Carolina work force."
"It will solidify Boeing's position in South Carolina and continue to draw suppliers to South Carolina, which will create more jobs," Graham, R-S.C., said.
U.S. Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., called Boeing's decision "a testament to our role in leading the nation's manufacturing renaissance. Their decision speaks to how South Carolina is bringing together our state's skilled work force and advanced American-based manufacturing. This combination is creating good-paying jobs and contributing to our growing economy."
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