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Inslee on Boeing job cuts: “We’re concerned,” warns of tax incentive changes

April 14, 2016

Enrique Cerna: The State has extended considerable tax cuts to Boeing to incentivize the company to keep jobs here in Washington State…you backed that strongly along with other lawmakers…now Boeing says it will downsize once again, perhaps by as many as 4,000 jobs. What, if anything, can you do to try to keep Boeing here, to keep those jobs here, or is it a done deal?

Governor Inslee: Well, we can do a lot. We can have big transportation improvements so we can have good roadways, we can have good education so we continue to educate the tremendous machinists, and we have the best machinists in the world and the best engineers in the world. So we can continue to make sure we have that skill set, which is so fantastic here in the state of Washington. But, given the extent of some of the downsizing at Boeing, it is fitting to look and consider whether there could be something to have some measure of accountability in these incentives to assure they we do have the level of jobs that we really want. I’m not going to be surprised if the next Legislature takes a look at to see if there’s something we can do. 

Washington Governor's Mansion

We could change the incentive package to require job levels in the incentive package. The legislature could do that but it would take them changing the law. But I do believe there is increased interest and willingness to think about that because of these job reductions. And I think it’s fitting to do that, given our interest in maintaining these jobs with these tremendous machinist and tremendous engineers we have. A bill did not advance to my desk this year, but it will not surprise me at all if we take a look at this in the 2017 session, and again, because we’ve made substantial investments that have been benefited this company and I think that’s’ the right thing to do. But yes, we are disappointed by this. We understand that there are ups and downs in the aerospace industry, the industry can expand and contract with the international size of the market, but what we’re most concerned about is if Boeing were to move jobs to other places. That is something we’re concerned about and that is why we’re going to have increasing attention to this issue.

Beto Yarce (citizen participant): What are the efforts of the administration to support micro small businesses?

Governor Jay Inslee: Our Department of Commerce has a program to help small businesses with some of the beginning things you need when you start a business including some of the permitting issues, and the tax issues, and some of the employment issue. Governor Inslee talks to Beto Yarce about micro business development in Washington We are trying to focus on making the interface with government easier for these really small businesses. Because they don’t have an HR director and a compliance director, the one person is everything, so we’re looking at all of our permits, and our applications and our licenses to start with, to put them in plain English, so people can understand them, they’re much more usable to a new businessperson. We’re using a process called lean management to do that…we’re using the Lean Management system to make all the paperwork you have much easier for small business people.

MORE: Approval for Spokane Indian casino, state minimum wage.

Enrique Cerna

The son of Mexican immigrants, Enrique Cerna was born and raised in the Yakima Valley.  Enrique joined KCTS 9 in January, 1995. He has anchored current affairs programs, moderated statewide political debates, produced and reported stories for national PBS programs in addition to local documentaries on social and juvenile justice, the environment and Latinos in Washington State.

Enrique has earned nine Northwest Emmy Awards and numerous other honors. In June, 2013, he was inducted into the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Northwest Chapter’s Silver Circle for his work as a television professional.

More stories by Enrique Cerna

Stephen Hegg

Stephen is a 25-year veteran of KCTS, producing a wide range of cultural and public affairs series, documentaries and arts programming.  His credits include PIE, Something in the Water  (PBS feature on Seattle’s indie music scene), the gala opening of Benaroya Hall, and documentaries on Asahel and Edward Curtis, Dan Sullivan and Doris Chase.  Seattle-born, Hegg is a graduate of Whitworth University and is also an accomplished violinist and avid cyclist.

More stories by Stephen Hegg