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Tag: work force training


The Boeing 737 lesson: Good schools = good jobs

This editorial will appear in tomorrow’s print edition.

A highly trained work force was a decisive factor – probably the decisive factor – in Boeing’s decision to build the 737 Max in Washington. Paying attention, lawmakers?

Supporters of a first-rate educational system – ourselves among them – tend to talk themselves silly about the connection between schooling, economic growth and jobs. But abstract statistics aren’t nearly as persuasive as the 20,000 jobs the 737 Max project will nail down in this state for many years to come.

The equation behind this triumph was simple: Good public schools + work force training + university engineering programs = busy assembly lines in Renton. And all of the above hinges on healthy funding for Washington’s K-12 system and public colleges.

But let’s give abundant credit to the Machinists Union whose members actually put Boeing’s airplanes together in this state.

The best training on the planet isn’t worth a rusty rivet if it doesn’t punch in when the shift starts. In years past, the machinists have been overly infatuated with strikes that have disrupted delivery schedules and exacted high costs from both Boeing and the airlines that buy its jets.

The company no doubt did plenty to poison its relationship with the machinists, but the fact remains that the strikes weighed heavily against expansion in Washington – as demonstrated by Boeing’s creation of a new Dreamliner production line in right-to-work South Carolina.
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