OLYMPIA — State Rep. Matt Manweller, who represents Kittitas County as part of the 13th Legislative District in Central Washington, is one of only three state House Republicans selected to serve on the 777X Legislative Task Force assembled by the governor’s office to address the possible expansion of Boeing’s 777 jetliner in Washington state, according to a news release.
Boeing has a backlog of orders for the 777, and to keep up with demand the company is considering increasing production rates of the 777 to as high as 10 to 12 per month, up from their current 8.3 per month. Those in the aviation industry feel the increased need for capacity may have Boeing looking elsewhere to develop the 777X, including a new factory to build the jet’s wings, the release said.
The goal of the task force is to assure Boeing that Washington state is the best place to design and build the 777 aircraft.
“Business owners, large and small, face many challenges in Washington,” said Manweller, a Republican from Ellensburg, in the release. “This task force gets to sit down with one of the state’s largest employers and hear what we can do to retain and invest in jobs — not just for their company, but for all employers. It is important we make every effort to keep Boeing jobs here in Washington, but at the same time, whatever we are doing for Boeing we should be doing for all businesses in Washington.”