Everett on edge over report Boeing moving Dreamliner out of state

A report that Boeing will pull the 787 Dreamliner production out of Everett has people around town talking about the impacts, not just on the assembly line, but on the entire region. 

At Jonn Laurenz Fine Cuts, a barbershop in downtown Everett, the barbers are all too familiar with Boeing’s struggles. Aaron Paloalto has already lost a few clients to recent layoffs. He said some of them were forced to move out of state to find work.

“If they start doing more layoffs, I can only imagine if that’s what they’re doing to big companies, how that’s going to influence us as small businesses,” Paloalto said.

“There isn’t a family in this city that isn’t somehow connected back to the Boeing Company, it’s part of the fabric of our city,” said Everett Mayor Cassie Franklin.

Franklin is bracing for a Boeing decision on the Dreamliner during a year where COVID-19 has already cut deep in the city. The Wall Street Journal reported this week that Boeing has made a decision to consolidate operations to South Carolina. Boeing has not confirmed the report but did confirm the company is studying the possibility. 

“If this announcement were to come, that is a one-two punch for sure,” Franklin said. “We have already experienced unprecedented losses in our revenues and jobs here locally and this would be adding on top of that.” 

Still, she said she’s confident the region’s ‘superior workforce’ will win in the end, even if the Dreamliner and its jobs fly south to South Carolina. 

“To me, it’s not whether we bring the 787 back or not if we lose it, it’s about how can we grow aerospace as a whole,” she said. “To me, it’s not as important which line as that we have the workforce, we have the talent, we have the experience, we have the space, we have the community to be the best - to remain the best - aerospace hub in the world and that will be our future.”

In the present, though, worry buzzes throughout the town and the barbershop.

“Now that it’s leaked out, everybody’s going to start talking about it,” Paloalto said of the report.