BOEING OFFICIAL URGES COOPERATION IN MAKING WASHINGTON 'MANUFACTURING-FRIENDLY'
SPOKANE, Wash., Oct. 29 /PRNewswire/ - Business and government must work together to make Washington state an ideal place for manufacturing, a senior official of The Boeing Co. said today. In remarks to the Governor's Conference on Manufacturing in Spokane, Deane Cruze, corporate senior vice president of operations said, "We cannot achieve any of our desired objectives by working separately. We must work together as a team to make our shared vision of this state a reality." Cruze added, "We must start now in putting a plan in place that puts out the welcome sign to industry and says, 'We want you in our state.' " Cruze cited a speech two years ago by Boeing Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Frank Shrontz that asked, "Could Puget Sound turn into an aerospace rust-belt in the 21st Century -- complete with padlocked factories, unemployment lines and urban blight?" According to Cruze, that question is still valid today. "It was clear two years ago that our state was falling out of step with a world shaped by global competition, but what has been done? Nothing," he said. "Do we really understand the urgent need for action? Obviously not, because our bureaucracy continues to grow," Cruze said. "Can we work together to create a climate that welcomes investment? I hope so, but we can't wait any longer to get started." Cruze assured those attending the conference that Washington state can become an ideal place for manufacturing. "But we must restore balance to our environmental regulations and we must remove the impediments to healthy growth that jeopardize jobs and the quality of life. We must make a full-time effort, not just at election time or when it's convenient," he said. Cruze cited the challenges faced by Boeing -- and all businesses -- who are trying to remain competitive while operating in Washington state. "Companies that wish to invest for the future face costly mitigation fees, slow permit processes and a myriad of laws and regulations," he said. "Boeing today is working hard to be a competitive manufacturer. We're investing now to be successful, not just for the next few years, but for the next few decades. Yet, we cannot do it alone. And, no business can." Taken together, Cruze said, the mitigation costs, permitting processes and complex laws in Washington make this a very expensive place to invest. "Because of mitigation, construction here is more costly than at our other major sites," he said. "It is 37 percent more expensive than in Wichita, Kansas, and 41 percent more expensive than in Huntsville, Alabama." According to Cruze, red tape is snarling vital activities for all businesses -- such as building a new facility, moving a piece of equipment or hiring a new worker. "Let's start making our red tape work for Washington's future, rather than against it," Cruze urged. "Simple, predictable, sensible incentives and regulations could be a powerful tool for drawing new industries to our state. We need policies that make Washington a good place to invest," Cruze said. -0- 10/29/93 /CONTACT: Sherry Nebel of Boeing Corporate, 206-655-6123, or Diane Ressler of Boeing Spokane, 509-623-8040/ (BA)
CO: The Boeing Co. ST: Washington IN: AIR ARO SU:
IC -- SE008 -- 8609 10/29/93 15:00 EDT