By Dave Somers and Cassie Franklin
For The Herald
As elected officials, we are often asked to envision our future and help lead our community there. How do we want to live in ten years? In 50? What kind of home do we want to make here in the shadow of mountains and along the shores of Puget Sound?
In any prosperous, thriving future for our region, The Boeing Co. and its workforce play a vital role.
Boeing has been making airplanes in Washington for more than 100 years, and it was 50 years ago that the first plane rolled out of the Everett plant. And throughout Boeing’s proud history, our community has educated, trained, housed and otherwise partnered with the company to make sure employees could flourish here.
Boeing and its employees have provided enormous benefits to our community. From good-paying high-tech jobs to the stability of a career in aerospace, Boeing has been the career goal for hundreds of thousands of our family members and friends. In 2018 Boeing’s payroll in Washington alone was more than $8 billion.
Beyond direct benefits of employment, however, Boeing has given back to our communities in ways both large and small. In 2017 Boeing employees volunteered 180,000 hours at Washington organizations. And just last year Boeing, its employees and retirees contributed more than $50 million to Washington community organizations, including art programs and food banks. For example, more than 6,200 children will receive a year-long supply of books, backpacks or school supplies from Boeing’s “Liftoff for Learning” drive.
As we mourn recent accidents, everyone at Boeing and beyond should know that our community won’t waver in our steadfast support for the company and its employees. Whether an assembly-line worker, administrator or executive, Boeing employees are our family.
There’s a reason that nearly one-half of Boeing’s global workforce is located right here in Washington state: We have together innovated, created a global economy dependent on air travel, sustained a great quality of life and many have prospered across a century of ups and downs. We know that Boeing, building the best airplanes in the world, will continue its history of innovation, collaboration and resilience. We’ll be there with them.
We ask that our fellow elected leaders, public officials, residents and friends join us in letting The Boeing Co. and its workforce know that we stand together, proud of our past and excited for the future that lies ahead.
Dave Somers is Snohomish County executive. Cassie Franklin is mayor of Everett.