The Boeing Co. took another step Monday in what is becoming an incremental withdrawal from the Puget Sound area, telling its informational technology workers that it plans to cut 1,500 Puget Sound area jobs over the next three years and set up IT centers in St. Louis and Charleston, S.C.
The company is expected to let some workers in Washington transfer to the new locations, and others will be given the opportunity to retire or leave the company with a severance package.
The move is the latest Boeing adjustment designed to shrink its footprint in Western Washington. The company said earlier this year it might lay off up to 2,000 workers who’ve become redundant because extra work on the 787 and 747-8 programs is declining.
And Boeing said it will close its Tukwila flight-training facility and move its flight simulators to Miami. It will reduce its staff of instructors and pilots during the move. Some of the instruction will be contracted out to noncompany pilots.
Boeing recently told South Carolina business boosters and politicians that it will spend about $1 billion to expand its facilities there, where it assembles 787 Dreamliners. The company bought about 320 acres adjacent to its plant to expand.
The company isn’t saying why it is making the information technology moves other than to say it’s part of a reorganization of the department.
Insiders speculate that the company is changing its IT structure to rid its payroll of older, higher cost workers and to move to areas with relatively little competition for workers. In Seattle, the company must compete with such information technology giants as Microsoft and Amazon for skilled workers.John Gillie: 253-597-8546