When Boeing announced in 2009 that it would open an assembly plant in North Charleston for its 787 Dreamliner, the decision sent economic shock waves throughout the state.
The new factory was a godsend for the Palmetto State in the face of record-high unemployment during the depths of the great Great Recession. It factory also spun off a whole new industry in the state as companies expanded or relocated here to supply the aerospace giant.
The state General Assembly offered an incentives package reportedly worth $450 million, but the plan requires the company to create 3,800 jobs and invest $750 million by 2016.
In July 2009, Boeing purchased Vought's North Charleston operations and later purchased Alenia's portion of Global Aeronautica, dissolving the joint venture and creating a full Boeing site. In October 2009, Boeing selected the North Charleston site for a new 787 Dreamliner final assembly and delivery line.
Boeing broke ground on the 1.2-million-square-foot facility in November 2009. Limited production began in July 2011, and final assembly began on April 27, 2012.
In 2014, Boeing South Carolina broke ground on a 256,000-square-foot decorative paint facility that’s scheduled to open in late 2016.