Nixon calls special session for incentives to lure new Boeing production line to Missouri

– Gov. Jay Nixon has called on lawmakers to return to Jefferson City next week to consider a package of tax incentives for Boeing, as the company begins to wind down its national search for a location to place the production line for its new 777X commercial airliner.

In a statement Friday, Nixon called on lawmakers to return to Jefferson City on Monday afternoon to consider expanding four existing business incentive programs by $150 million annually in hopes of enticing the company to land the production line in the St. Louis area.

“Building this next-generation commercial aircraft in Missouri would create thousands of jobs across our state and secure our position as a hub for advanced aerospace manufacturing – and that’s why I am committed to competing for and winning this project,” Nixon said. “In order to put forward a competitive proposal on this very aggressive timeline, decisive legislative action is required to add capacity to four of Missouri’s existing economic development programs, which already include strict job creation and investment requirements, so that they can accommodate an aerospace project on this scale.”

Boeing executives have made clear they want to choose on a location by January, as they have their sights set on beginning production on the 777X by 2017 in order to deliver the first aircraft by 2020, and lawmakers are already set to reconvene for the second session of the General Assembly in early January. Nixon noted in his announcement Boeing’s call for state proposals to be submitted by December 10.

The company’s St. Louis campus has focused mostly on military aircraft production, and in June, Nixon announced that the company would expand its information technology footprint there. But the St. Louis facilities and workforce have not been fitted and trained for commercial production. Part of Nixon’s call also urged state community colleges to invest in training and retraining workers for the possible new jobs.