State Sen. Brian Nieves, who represents this area, voted against the incentive package the state will offer Boeing to locate facilities here to build its new 777X commercial airliner.
The state Senate approved the incentive program, proposed by Gov. Jay Nixon, Wednesday by a vote of 23-8. Nieves, a Republican, was one of eight GOP senators who voted against the proposal.
The House was expected to approve the proposal Friday.
Nieves did not respond to a call by The Missourian prior to the Senate vote to determine his position on the issue.
The issue is of major importance to this area since companies here do work for Boeing, and if its new facilities are located in the St. Louis area, it is expected to create new jobs in this immediate area.
Darren Lamb, Washington’s economic director, briefed the 353 Redevelopment Corporation Thursday on the Boeing matter. He gave board members a copy of an email sent to this area’s elected representatives in Jefferson City Tuesday, informing them of the importance of the Boeing project to the Washington area.
In the letter, it was pointed out that plants here now manufacture parts for Boeing, and that tool and die companies also do work for Boeing. This area is home to more than a dozen tool and die businesses that employ 500 or more workers in total. The letter mentioned two companies in particular that do work for the aerospace industry — Valent and RTI Tradco. The two Washington companies employ more than 370 full-time workers.
“This contract would have a positive effect on over 700 suppliers within Missouri, including the two industries mentioned — Valent and RTI Tradco,” the letter stated. “For example, RTI Tradco has noted that with the phasing out of the C-17 program and the F-15 production uncertain, the new program to build the 777X will be critical to continued job growth at the Washington facility. With regard to Valent, it currently has over 250 orders for parts specific to the 777. It is poised to expand if the 777X is to be manufactured within the St. Louis region.”
The Washington industrial corporations urged the area lawmakers to consider “a responsible, yet competitive incentive package for Boeing.” The letter was signed by the president of the two industrial corporations, Bill Miller, Sr. The two corporations are the 353 Redevelopment Corporation and the Civic Industrial Corporation.
In the Senate Wednesday on the $1.7 billion incentive package over two decades, 15 Republicans voted for the package, along with eight Democrats. As mentioned, eight Republicans voted “no,” and one Republican and two Democrats did not vote.
The house approved the measure Friday.