Boeing expects to bring about 600 IT jobs to the Lowcountry

By Matt Tomsic
mtomsic@scbiznews.com
Published May 15, 2013

The Boeing Co. expects to add about 600 information technology jobs in North Charleston during the next three years as the company reshuffles its IT workforce, according to an initial company estimate.

Boeing has signed a lease at 3875 Faber Place in North Charleston for temporary office space for some of the IT workers, said Andrew Favreau, spokesman for Boeing IT communications.

“Based on our current lease, we expect to house around 200 teammates in that location,” Favreau said. “This is an ongoing process. We have some IT teammates that are located in South Carolina who have already started to move into this temporary location. We expect to fully staff Faber Place by the end of the first quarter (of) 2014.”

The Lowcountry workforce additions are part of the aerospace giant’s reorganization of its IT business group. In March, the company announced it would open IT centers of excellence in its locations at Puget Sound, St. Louis and North Charleston. At the time, officials weren’t sure the number of employees who would be located at each site. The company’s initial job count for St. Louis is also 600 IT employees, Favreau said, and in Washington state, Boeing expects to cut 1,500 IT jobs during the next three years. About 4,700 IT employees currently work in Puget Sound.

“It’s jobs that we expect will go away through attrition, retirements, relocations and also reduction in force,” Favreau said. “A lot of the decisions that go along with those reductions will just naturally evolve over time as we continue to work through the processes that we have in place.”

Favreau said the company is still determining each site’s work statement, which could impact the number of IT employees housed at each location.

“Once we complete that, we’ll have a better idea on the number of jobs that will be located in the centers in all three of the locations,” Favreau said. “The other thing that’s challenging is that our plans continue to evolve and change. One of the things that we’ve committed to our employees is to be as transparent and as open as possible. It’s difficult to give absolutes because, as we learn more, we make adjustments through our ongoing conversations with them.”

The Lowcountry jobs figure comes less than a week after Gov. Nikki Haley, state lawmakers and Boeing officials celebrated the passage of a $120 million bond bill, which will pay for infrastructure work related to Boeing’s second phase of expansion in the Lowcountry. The company expects to add 2,000 jobs and invest another $1.1 billion during the next eight years, pushing its total employment to roughly 8,000 workers and its total investment to roughly $2 billion.

“This is a company that under-promises and over-delivers,” said S.C. House Speaker Bobby Harrell before the ceremonial bill signing Friday. “The history is it ends up being a lot bigger than what they tell you.”

During the event, Boeing officials and lawmakers said they expected to be back on-site celebrating more expansion.

“Four years ago, the Boeing Co. and the state of South Carolina formed a partnership,” said Mike Luttig, executive vice president and general counsel for Boeing. “Boeing invested in the state of South Carolina and the people of its state. The people and the state invested in the Boeing Co. We kept a solemn promise to each other. Does anyone doubt that there will be a Phase III and Phase IV?”

Reach Matt Tomsic at 843-849-3144.

Previous coverage

North Charleston to receive more Boeing IT workers
Officials celebrate Boeing bill signing

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