Boeing to set up a new 737 MAX assembly line in Everett

Dominic Gates, The Seattle Times on

Published in Business News

Boeing announced internally Monday morning that it will set up a fourth 737 MAX assembly line inside its increasingly empty widebody jet plant in Everett.

The move, adding to the three existing MAX assembly lines in Renton, will make use of the space freed up in Everett by ending the 747 and 787 production.

It's the first expansion of work in Washington state since Boeing opened its advanced composite center in Everett for fabricating the 777X wings in 2016 — and this time done without the threats Boeing issued then of moving work elsewhere unless the Machinists' union granted concessions.

In a message to employees, Stan Deal, CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, cited "the availability of highly skilled workers and factory space" as factors in the decision.

"This announcement underscores our commitment to the state and to Washington workers," Deal said.

It's certainly a lifeline for Boeing's Everett workers, who have seen job prospects steadily shrink. It's unclear if it will add many jobs, though it will surely preserve jobs.


"There may be incremental job gains," Boeing said in a statement. "But in general, this additional line allows us to keep our current team even with the end of 747 production."

John Monroe, a former Boeing executive in Everett who now works to promote aerospace jobs and economic development for the region, said it's "very good news for Snohomish County."

"We've got skills up here that need to be utilized," Monroe said. "And if you don't use them, you lose them. I'm excited."

Jon Holden, district president of the International Association of Machinists Local 751, in an interview said Boeing's decision is "good for our members."


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