Check this out ... Willow Run looks like winner... I HOPE!!!!!!!!!!
Michigan. bids for Boeing plant
Willow Run Airport seen as top contender for facility that could create up to 1,200 jobs
By Deb Price / Detroit News Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON -- Michigan is making a bid for a $900 million Boeing Co. assembly plant that will build the company's next generation passenger jet fleet -- and Willow Run Airport is emerging as the state's top contender.
A coalition of business, government and labor leaders hopes to persuade the aircraft manufacturing giant that Michigan is the best place to locate the plant, which would create as many as 1,200 highly skilled jobs.
Competition by other states is expected to be fierce.
The Michigan Economic Development Corp. (MEDC) plans to submit several potential sites to Boeing by June 20, although it declined to disclose the 10 localities it has approached. Boeing says it will announce the winner by year-end.
"The governor is very interested in doing this," said Sabrina Keeley, the MEDC's chief operating officer. "That is why we are going to make a very strong pitch. ... This would be a huge win."
The facility would build Boeing's fuel-efficient 7E7, which will hold 200 to 250 passengers, said Boeing spokeswoman Mary Hanson.
Willow Run Airport "hits the target" for what Boeing is looking for, said Barbara Hogan, spokeswoman for the Wayne County Airport Authority, which oversees Detroit Metro Airport and Willow Run.
Located mostly in Wayne County, near Ypsilanti, Willow Run has five runways and sits on 2,600 acres.
It is near a deep-water port on the Detroit River, is close to major railway and interstate highway lines, and has 1,500 acres available for building, far more that the 600 acres Boeing says it needs.
It is also eight miles from Metro Airport, making it convenient to fly in Boeing executives and engineers, she said.
"What we have to offer puts us in a very good position and we are hopeful," Hogan said.
During World War II
, Ford Motor Co. turned out 8,685 B-24 Liberators, trucks and other war hardware at Willow Run.
U.S. Rep. Thaddeus McCotter, R-Livonia, said he and other Michigan federal, state and county officials are looking at putting together an incentive package to "sweeten" the state's chances.
The package could include tax breaks, job training grants, and needed infrastructure such as roads and sewers, said McCotter and MEDC spokeswoman Jennifer Owens.
"When you land a project like this, it is good for the entire economy of the region," said McCotter. "We are trying to put Michigan at the top of the list."
Chicago-based Boeing, the largest maker of satellites, commercial jets and military aircraft, had total company revenues for 2002 of $54.1 billion and employs 160,000 workers around the globe.
Detroit News business columnist Daniel Howes contributed to this report.