The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO


December 2, 2013

Our View: Let's land jobs

— Monday will bring Missouri legislators together in a special session to consider a $150 million a year package of tax breaks aimed at luring tens of thousands of Boeing jobs to our state.

It would mean a lot of Christmases for years to come if we could somehow wrap that up in a big red bow.

Sen. Ron Richard, R-Joplin, told the Globe that almost every county in the state has a company that supplies Boeing. That includes Leggett & Platt and LaBarge in the Joplin area.

“So you’re talking about thousands of jobs in St. Louis (where the commercial plane would likely be produced) and thousands more down the supply chain, for another 10 or 15 years,” he said. “It would also be a boon to the colleges, especially two-year colleges, that would be training the workers.”

Gov. Jay Nixon on Friday called the special session to ask for legislative approval to act in time to meet a Dec. 10 deadline for bids. To wait until the January start of the session would have put Missouri too far behind in the race to attract the jobs attached to the 777X program that are up for grabs.

There are about a dozen states that received requests for proposals from Boeing, so Missouri will have to come up with an attractive offer.

Boeing is searching for greener pastures after a machinists union in the state of Washington rejected Boeing’s contract proposal.

Southwest Missouri’s legislators appear to be behind the efforts. Rep. Charlie Davis, R-Webb City, likes the proposal because it focuses on more jobs for Missouri.

“Some people say you’re picking winners and losers. In this case, it’s not. This would be a new industry coming to Missouri that would create thousands of jobs,” he said. “We have thousands of people that would be taken off the unemployment rolls that might be working. To me, it is a win-win situation.”

A win-win indeed.

Here’s hoping this special session will see our legislators put party politics aside and concentrate on landing this deal.

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