More Boeing engineering work headed south

The Seattle TimesSeptember 5, 2013 

Boeing is shifting more engineering jobs from Washington state to Southern California, the latest in a series of such changes that could see hundreds of jobs moving away.

Mike Delaney, head of engineering at Boeing Commercial Airplanes, announced internally last week that the team working on advanced-concept airplanes will move by year-end to the commercial-jet unit’s growing engineering-design center in the Los Angeles area.

The team’s focus is futuristic airplane ideas, such as supersonic or low-emission jets, that may be developed a decade or more from now.

About 60 engineers from various groups within the Puget Sound area do that work today, though many of them also have other responsibilities.

Boeing spokesman Bret Jensen said the company will set up a group of 20 to 30 full-time engineers in Southern California dedicated solely to advanced concepts.

“We don’t think it will have that much of an effect here,” Jensen said.

In his note to the engineering team last week, Delaney said the shift lets Boeing “consolidate all advanced-concepts design efforts in one location with a dedicated team.”

He added that the move “will also improve our ability to recruit into these specialized jobs by giving us greater access to a diverse experience base of people, universities and other industries in the region.”

In May, Delaney announced Boeing would pursue “a more geographically diverse manufacturing and engineering footprint.”

He said then that Boeing, which historically had the vast majority of its commercial-airplane-engineering expertise in Washington state, would in the future split it among three domestic engineering-design centers — adding capacity in Southern California and South Carolina and reducing it here — and its major overseas engineering-design center in Moscow.

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