FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
End Of an Era: Councilwoman Schipske Comments on Boeing Announced Closure of C-17 Line
Long Beach, CA – September 18, 2013 – Upon receiving news that Boeing, currently one of the largest employers in Long Beach, has decided to close the C-17 line in 2015, Councilwoman Gerrie Schipske issued the following statement: “This is the end of an era that started in the 1940’s with Long Beach being the home of aircraft manufacturing where the best planes ever built have been produced,” said Schipske, in whose district Boeing resides.
“The production of excellent aircraft for military and commercial use has provided thousands of well paying jobs for Long Beach residents, and has been the heart of skilled trades jobs in our community. I hope that Boeing will provide retraining for their employees for comparable paying jobs in our City.
“The Mayor and City Council have done everything possible to convince the U.S. Air Force to continue to purchase the C-17 aircraft, but they decided not to order any more of them.
“This is an opportunity for other companies in the area to take very experienced, well-trained Long Beach worker and put them to work in tech and growth industry jobs. It’s important to be able to provide new opportunities for these workers while the City of Long Beach has an 11.9% unemployment rate as of August (in California the unemployment rate for the same period is 8.7%), and a 22% poverty rate.
“On the positive side, the C-17 site will most likely be added to the Douglas Park development planned by Sares Regis, which is doing incredibly well. Businesses moving into the development will also be providing good jobs.
“I’m hopeful that Boeing will give the City of Long Beach the historical archives from the early days of Douglas Aircraft, McDonnell Douglas manufacturing on the site to the present. It would be a great gift from Boeing to ensure that important history of our City’s role in producing aircraft for our nation and ultimately for the world,” Schipske concluded.