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California will seek to host Boeing 777X jet program

Several states are crafting proposals for Boeing, which is looking for a place to build its next-generation 777X commercial airplane.
(Reed Saxon / Associated Press)

California formally joined a nationwide sweepstakes to woo aerospace giant Boeing Co. to build the next-generation 777X airliner in the state.

Gov. Jerry Brown’s office of Business and Economic Development announced late Tuesday that it planned to submit a proposal to the company. Boeing has been searching for a site to build the twin-aisle jet ever since the International Assn. of Machinists and Aerospace Workers District 751 in Washington overwhelmingly voted to reject a contract last month.

The proposed deal would have cut some pension plans and healthcare benefits, but guaranteed the 777 program would stay in the Pacific Northwest.

The labor dispute in Seattle drew the attention of Southern California lawmakers, who are still reeling from Boeing’s announcement in September that it would close the C-17 Globemaster III cargo jet plant in Long Beach in 2015.

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“Based on our skilled workforce, existing manufacturing base and targeted business incentives, California is in a strong position to compete,” said Mike Rossi, a senior advisor to the governor for jobs and business development. “We will continue to work closely with the Legislature, local officials and Boeing to bring new jobs and investment to California.”

For weeks, state and local officials have been in talks about the possibility of bringing the 777X program to Long Beach.

More than a dozen states across the U.S. are expected to submit proposals. Boeing is likely to release the exact number this week.

william.hennigan@latimes.com

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Twitter: @wjhenn


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