Boeing plant closure cuts 2,000 jobs

Boeing plant closure cuts 2,000 jobs

Boeing Boeing posterBoeing, citing shrinking military budgets, announced last week plans to shutter a massive Southern California jet assembly plant and lay off nearly 3,000 workers. Boeing had owned the Long Beach plant since 1997, and it has been a major employer in the Long Beach area for decades.

The company will begin laying off workers in 2014. The plant, which employs around 2,000 workers, will be shut by 2015. Boeing delivered its final C-17, a four-engine cargo jet designed to carry massive loads throughout the world, to the U.S. Air Force just one week before the announcement.

The closure of the plant, the last remaining major airplane assembly unit in Southern California, marks the end of an era for the region, which was once the center of the booming aerospace economy.

An August 2012 report from the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation laid out just how important the aerospace economy was to Southern California:

“At the height of the Cold War, 15 of the 25 largest aerospace companies in the United States were based in Southern California. Today, all but a handful of the largest of those original firms have closed their doors, have moved elsewhere, or have been absorbed through a wave of mergers and consolidations that swept through the industry in the 1990s. The industry is considerably more concentrated today than in past decades, especially for companies whose primary customer is the U.S. Government.

“In 1987, California accounted for one in four aerospace jobs nationally, and in Los Angeles County, the share was one in ten. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War, the Department of Defense (DOD) sharply curtailed procurement spending. In 1995, DOD spending fell below $50 billion for the first time since 1982. Nowhere in the country were the changes in Pentagon outlays more apparent than in Southern California.

“With the end of the Cold War came defense budget cuts and military base closures. Aerospace companies in the region met the challenge by merging with one another and consolidating operations. Many smaller contractors were forced to close their doors or look for business outside the industry. Already in a recession, Southern California’s economy went into a tailspin. The severe contraction of the aerospace industry added a structural component to the downturn. As the business cycle turned up again elsewhere in the country, the permanent loss of thousands of aerospace jobs in the region led to a longer and deeper recession in Southern California.”


Although the plant’s closure had long been expected, several workers were shocked, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Vince Breen, a structural mechanic, told the Times, “It’s like a mortuary in there. We were stunned.”

According to the Times, the plant was once bustling enough that workers placed flags on their cars so that they could find them in the massive parking lot.

Boeing has announced that it does not plan to move production for any other planes to the shuttered 1.1 million-square-foot facility. What will happen to the closing plant remains unclear.


Write a comment
  1. doug
    doug 25 September, 2013, 10:00

    they’re knocking it down right now as you read this…….

    Reply this comment
  2. Dyspeptic
    Dyspeptic 25 September, 2013, 10:32

    It’s sad to see the historic former McDonnell Douglas plant closed, but not surprising. Kalifornia’s industrial base continues to shrink while the fools in Sacramento pat themselves on the back for arbitrarily raising wage rates for low productivity, low skill workers. I guess those 3,000 skilled and well compensated Boeing employees can take comfort at the prospect of flipping burgers or cleaning toilets for $10/hr. That is if they can find a job at all.

    Reply this comment
  3. Wolfy Ghalkhani
    Wolfy Ghalkhani 25 September, 2013, 12:29

    Our gov’t wont be happy until all our factories are closed, all production ceases and we dumb down to the same level as the rest of the world. On the day that America can not pay its debt because it no longer has any income,China will come marching in and we wont be able to do a damn thing about it cuz Obama took all our guns way. Imagine that. The American people and their corrupt socialist politicians own this.

    Reply this comment
  4. californianative
    californianative 25 September, 2013, 13:57

    Boeing plans $ 1 billion dollar expansion in South Carolina…
    The commies running the People’s Republic of California just don’t get it.

    Reply this comment
  5. Rex the Wonderdog!
    Rex the Wonderdog! 25 September, 2013, 20:21

    CA used to make everything, planes ,missiles, ships, yachts, cars-“CA Special” Mustang! Now we make nothing.

    Reply this comment
  6. Nikongreg
    Nikongreg 25 September, 2013, 21:35

    Everyone that voted for the socialist left wing democrats just need to point their fingers at themselves for this happening. You can’t make a living on just great weather.

    Reply this comment
  7. Queeg
    Queeg 26 September, 2013, 08:38

    Posters…..urban life needs SERVICES to survive. Unfortunately, service jobs rarely have consistent productivity increases leading to price inflation, job exploitation, grey market operations, alien hiring, choice/variety/hours of operation cuts.

    Politicians are scared welfare will roll down the hill and consume most every thing out there including doomer assets. These leeches raise the minimum wage in hopes the rolling ball hits a snag….sorta slows down the pending realities.

    The way doomers can improve things: Ignore tip jars and tipping service workers. Cut personal service consumption. Eat at home or take a brown bag baloney sandwich. Etc.

    Cut the service industry…..guaranteed the resulting unemployment will lead to positive job creation policies.

    Concluding……instead of consuming like a fatted calf………change…..or face continued rise of the welfare state.

    Reply this comment
  8. BillyBS
    BillyBS 26 September, 2013, 12:26

    As long as there are assets not owned by the gov t, they provide an opportunity to redistribute to the more productive gov t sector, as well as the oppressed, those suffering due to corporate greed. All is well.

    Reply this comment
    NTHEOC 26 September, 2013, 14:45

    Rex says,
    CA used to make everything, planes ,missiles, ships, yachts, cars-”CA Special” Mustang! Now we make nothing.
    Not true, we still make a lot of porn flicks!!

    Reply this comment
  10. NTHEOC
    NTHEOC 26 September, 2013, 16:54

    Awaiting moderation for my comments on post????? Not to mention it takes forever,what tha???? That is weak even for the freedom fighting CWD folks…….

    Reply this comment
  11. Queeg
    Queeg 27 September, 2013, 17:31

    This moderation thingee must of been hatched by Mussolini’s henchmen….you betcha……very scary and makes aggressive, emotional, radical doomers very upset!

    Reply this comment
  12. Rex the Wonderdog!
    Rex the Wonderdog! 28 September, 2013, 19:57

    CA used to make everything, planes ,missiles, ships, yachts, cars-”CA Special” Mustang! Now we make nothing.
    Not true, we still make a lot of porn flicks!!
    Porn is not a durable good, and with the new CA health rules all new porn will be filmed in Las Vegas…

    Reply this comment

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