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Boeing Looking At Possible Closure Of Wichita Facility

By: KAKE News Email
By: KAKE News Email

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Monday, November 21, 2011

Boeing is studying the future of its Wichita facility, and one of the options is the potential closure of the plant, a company spokesperson said today.

A statement released by Boeing spokesman Jarrod Bartlett read, "the Wichita facility faces pressures because of product and services contracts that have matured and expired, and limited prospects for future work". Bartlett added, "among the options being reviewed is the potential closure of the Wichita site. Because of defense budget pressures, we are conducting a number of market studies to determine how to best preserve and grow our business, and continue to provide quality and cost-efficient services for our customers."

Kansas Governor Sam Brownback and the Kansas Congressional delegation released a statement this afternoon. Part of the statement said, "no one fought harder for Boeing's win of the U.S. Air Force tanker competition during the last decade than the Kansas delegation and our teamwork paid off. Boeing has promised publicly and repeatedly in writing that the success in winning the tanker contract would mean '7,500 jobs' in Kansas, including several hundred jobs at Boeing-Wichita for the Tanker Finishing Center. We expect the company to honor that commitment. Kansans are the right team with the right tools to make Boeing's continued operations a success for many years to come."

Boeing has 2,100 employees at its Wichita facility.

Bartlett said he expects the study to be completed by the end of the year or early in 2012.

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Boeing's full statement:

"Boeing is studying the future of its Wichita, Kan., facility as part of an initiative to address the current defense budget environment. The Wichita facility faces pressures because of product and services contracts that have matured and expired, and limited prospects for future work.

We are in the process of engaging key stakeholders - including customers, government officials and union representatives - to share this information as we continue to have open and candid discussions about the challenges we face in the current budget and economic environment. Among the options being reviewed is the potential closure of the Wichita site. Because of defense budget pressures, we are conducting a number of market studies to determine how to best preserve and grow our business, and continue to provide quality and cost-efficient services for our customers.

We anticipate completion of the Wichita study by the end of the year or in early 2012."

Statement from Governor Brownback's office:

“The Boeing Company has a rich history in Kansas, and the state and Congressional delegations have been strong supporters of this successful partnership throughout the last 80 years. No one fought harder for Boeing’s win of the U.S. Air Force tanker competition during the last decade than the Kansas delegation and our teamwork paid off. Boeing has promised publicly and repeatedly in writing that the success in winning the tanker contract would mean ‘7,500 jobs’ in Kansas, including several hundred jobs at Boeing-Wichita for the Tanker Finishing Center.

We expect the company to honor that commitment. Kansans are the right team with the right tools to make Boeing’s continued operations a success for many years to come.”


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