Published March 2006

Goodrich to build new plant
in Bomarc complex

By John Wolcott
SCBJ Editor

Talks that began between Goodrich Corp., Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire and the state Department of Trade and Economic Development at the Paris Air Show last year culminated in the February announcement that the company would build a 140,000-square-foot plant in Everett.

The multimillion-dollar assembly facility will support production of Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner when it gets under way later this year. Goodrich Corp. already has two major aerospace facilities at Paine Field, an airliner maintenance center and a plant that assembles landing gear for Boeing aircraft.

At a February groundbreaking ceremony at 2615 94th St. SW, behind Goodrich’s landing gear division plant on Airport Way, an assembly of state, county and airport officials celebrated the event, hailing the new plant as a major addition to the county’s aerospace industry.

Due to be completed by September, the Goodrich Aerostructures Integration Services Inc. facility will employ up to 80 workers to install engine nacelles and thrust-reversers to the 787’s General Electric and Rolls-Royce powerplants, the final step before they are transported northward a few hundred feet to the Boeing assembly plant.

Counting Goodrich’s major airliner maintenance center at Paine Field, one of the largest aircraft service and upgrade centers in the nation, its landing gear division and the new engine cover assembly plant, the Charlotte, N.C., company will employ more than 1,700 people by the end of the year. That will make it the second largest aerospace employer in the county and the sixth largest private employer.

Nationally, Goodrich also has Boeing contracts to provide the 787’s cargo handling system, wheels and electronic braking system, exterior lighting, proximity sensing system, fuel supply indicators and the fuel management software.

Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon welcomed Goodrich’s newest operation, noting that the county has worked closely with the company to facilitate the permitting and launching of the project. He called the effort a successful public-private partnership to smooth the arrival of the new plant.

“New operating procedures at the county are reducing red tape, streamlining the permit process and eliminating bureaucratic redundancies,” Reardon said. “Goodrich’s expansion (here) is an example of the benefit to our community that comes from our work to make Snohomish County a more competitive place to do business. … This plant proves our economic development plan is working.”

Goodrich officials agreed the process was so smooth it surprised them, and the building contractor, Sierra Construction Co., found county permitting for the project so efficient Sierra couldn’t keep pace.

“It was so fast that some of our people even got behind in the permit process … that’s the first time I’ve ever seen that happen,” said Roger Collins, chief executive of the Woodinville-based company that has built nine other aerospace projects at or near Paine Field.

Also praised for their roles in successfully attracting Goodrich and moving the construction project ahead were Snohomish County Airport/Paine Field Manager Dave Waggoner and Airport Projects Manager Bill Lewellen and their staff. The plant, which will be about three times the size of the nearby landing gear division plant, is on a 9.4-acre site Goodrich is leasing from Snohomish County in the Bomarc Business Park.

Snohomish County Economic Development Council President Deborah Knutson also was recognized by Goodrich officials and the county executive for her organization’s major role in attracting and establishing the Goodrich plant.

She said her staff and county government staff worked most of the past year with Goodrich to find the right location and to work out details, noting that it helped that the company already had facilities near the Boeing plant. Reardon called the Goodrich project “a great example of the partnership between the county and the EDC.”

Goodrich also will benefit from the state’s business and occupation tax break for aerospace companies and parts manufacturers, recently expanded to include companies involved in engineering and design work on aircraft parts and tooling.

Dan Castognola, Goodrich’s vice president for Boeing programs, told the group that having the new plant so close to the Boeing plant will make assembly and delivery of the completed engines a highly efficient process, enhanced by being able to design the new plant to fit Goodrich’s Lean-manufacturing process that reduces waste of both time and materials.

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© 2006 The Daily Herald Co., Everett, WA