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Dec 30, 201308:18 AMInside Wisconsin

with Tom Still

Why Boeing should select Wisconsin — and why it’s OK even if it doesn’t

(page 2 of 2)

While there are no major assembly plants in Wisconsin, there are many Wisconsin-based suppliers of those major aerospace companies and more. In fact, some 140 suppliers in Wisconsin work with Boeing. In addition, DeltaHawk Engines in Racine, Engineered Propulsion Systems in New Richmond, Kestrel in Superior, and Morgan Aircraft in Sheboygan are examples of young, emerging companies.

Land and facilities are available near Milwaukee’s Mitchell Airport, and there’s a long tradition of manufacturing expertise in southeastern Wisconsin — as well as colleges and technical colleges with a track record for training such workers. It’s also closer to Chicago, Boeing’s base.

There are also port facilities in southeastern Wisconsin — at least, until winter. It remains to be seen if a warm-weather port is part of Boeing’s equation.

It also remains to be seen whether Boeing will pull up stakes in the Seattle area, and if the machinists’ union will continue to dig in its heels. As Boeing looks for a place to land, however, company executives need not feel like Charles Lindbergh on the first successful transatlantic flight in 1927. The company would not be flying solo in a state that knows its way around the air and space industry.

Win or lose, Wisconsin’s Boeing bid is an appropriate test flight for other opportunities to come. 

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About This Blog

Tom Still is president of the Wisconsin Technology Council. He is the former associate editor of the Wisconsin State Journal.

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