Labor leaders and educators ready to help Boeing

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HAZELWOOD, MO (KTVI)-- The Boeing incentive plan will be up for debate before the Missouri House  Friday morning in Jefferson City.  The state has until five pm Tuesday to complete its proposal to the giant aerospace firm.  Missouri is among at least a dozen states vying for the firm`s 777X jetliner production facility.

The leader of the major Boeing union in St. Louis, Gordon King of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers issued a statement saying the union is ready to negotiate with Boeing over a future contract for the commercial plane production.

The head of the St. Louis Labor Council Bob Soutier said he is convinced Boeing knows labor and management work well together in St. Louis.  'There are not even shop supervisors on the shop floor.  Employees supervise themselves and work in high performance work teams to build those fighter jets,' he said.

The offer of a 24 hour, three shift work schedule for union workers who would  build the new plant is another plus according to Soutier.  'A normal construction of a million and a half square foot facility would take five years . If they go to a three shift  basis  and work 24 hours a day, five days a week they can build it in two years and nine months,' he said.

The Missouri Aerospace Training Consortium, a group of five regional community colleges, is committed to train thousands of Missouri workers for  Boeing and other aerospace firms.  Some of the training programs are already in place.

The Florissant Valley campus of the St. Louis Community College system has been offering customized industrial skill classes for at least three decades.  A Boeing pre-employment program trained more than 200 aerospace technicians during the past five years.

'Our students are prepared to walk into today`s manufacturing environment ,' said Flo Valley President Marcia Pfeiffer Thursday.  The college works with employers to
'insure our students are being trained on the kinds of machines they will see when they go into the manufacturing floor,' she added.

'It`s important that we all work together throughout the region to train a talent base,' said Roderick Nunn,  Flo Valley Vice Chairman for Economic Development.  Boeing is not the only firm that would need more workers if the commercial jetliner work comes to Missouri.  Hundreds of firms that produce airplane parts would also need staff.

Related Stories:

Missouri Congressman meets with Boeing CEO while state senate debates

Colleges ready to train new Boeing workers

Missouri senate backs Boeing deal

Unions trying to convince Boeing to bring new jet labor to St. Louis
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