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Boeing bucks


OKC plans to negotiate incentives for a second round of Boeing job relocations.

Clifton Adcock January 30th, 2013

The Oklahoma City Economic Development Trust unanimously approved efforts paving the way for the city to award the Boeing company incentive money in exchange for new jobs.

Credit: Mark Hancock

On Jan. 22, the trust passed a measure to increase the amount originally put forth and another to let the city negotiate an amount for a second round of job relocations. Both require approval from Oklahoma City Council.

In the summer of 2011, Boeing announced it was closing its C-130 modernization plant in Long Beach, Calif., and moving 232 jobs to Oklahoma City. Around 318 more jobs from the plant’s B-1 operations were expected to follow.

In exchange for that first round of jobs, OKC agreed last year to award Boeing $1.5 million from its Strategic Investment Program. Also known as SIP, the economic development incentive is funded by the 2007 voter-approved general obligation limited tax (GOLT) bond.

A second incentive offer from the city for the B-1 jobs was expected later in 2012.

However, budget cutbacks by the U.S. Department of Defense, Boeing’s main customer, forced the company to reduce the job count in the C-130 program, according to a memorandum from City Manager Jim Couch.

Under the latest measures, the program is to be renamed Boeing Project #1 and will include both the C-130 and B-1 jobs, with the total amount being $1.8 million.

Meanwhile, a separate measure approved by the trust allows OKC officials to negotiate incentives given to Boeing for jobs being relocated from its Wichita, Kan., facility.

The company announced early last year that it was closing its Wichita facility and moving some 800 jobs to Oklahoma City.

The Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce’s Economic Development Division as well as the city manager’s office recommended an incentive package of $4.5 million in SIP funds.

The estimated average yearly salary for both sets of jobs is more than $80,000, according to city documents. Boeing will be required to make extensive facility improvements to make room for the new operations. The economic impact of the job relocations is expected to be nearly $413 million.

Boeing had considered other cities for the job relocation, Couch stated in the memo to the trust, but city and state incentive packages — Boeing also receives state Quality Jobs and 21st Century Quality Jobs incentives — helped competitively position OKC against others.


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