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Boeing Shares Future With Ministerial Alliance
5/14/2014 2:50:27 PM

(left to right): Rev. Robert Leeper, I.M.A. Chairman Rev. Robert Kennedy, Boeing Human Resources Director Towanna Tindall, Rev. William Alston & Rev. Edward McClain
By Barney Blakeney

Staff members of Boeing aeronautics plant in North Charleston May 7 made a presentation to the Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance to inform members of the airplane manufacturer’s impact in the community.

Since 2009 Boeing has produced its 787 Dreamliner aircraft at the company’s 265-acre main campus near the Charleston International Airport. Boeing supports some 7,500 direct and indirect jobs. About 85 percent of its employees are local residents.

The company’s invested over $1 billion in land, infrastructure, facilities and tooling in South Carolina since 2009 and is committed to creating another 2,000 new jobs and investing in excess of another $1 billion during the next eight years. An independent study projects Boeing will have an economic impact on Charleston and surrounding areas of about $6 billion annually.

IMA Chairman Rev. Robert Kennedy noted that some IMA members previously toured the company’s local facilities. Boeing was invited to the organization’s weekly meeting May 7 so others could get information they can take back to their respective congregations and communities.

After a tasty breakfast at the outset of the 9 a.m. meeting, Boeing Human Resources Director Towanna Tindall who is a native of Nesmith, told the group it’s good to return to her South Carolina roots. She has been employed by Boeing since November. Prior to joining Boeing, the University of South Carolina graduate worked 14 years for General Motors Corporation in various capacities.

Tindall said Boeing obviously isn’t here on a whim. The company’s commitment is long term. She said the impact of that commitment will grow as the company expands its footprint in the local community.

Boeing plans to lease another 468 acres to construct painting and autoclave facilities, a new fire station and parking lots for employees. The company is now hiring for its new IT center and the engineering design center established in 2013. Hiring for the new propulsion facility to be completed this year will begin next year.

Tindall said Boeing’s impact also includes training for its workforce. It partners with six colleges and universities in the state - Clemson University, the University of South Carolina, The Citadel, the College of Charleston, South Carolina State University and Trident Technical College to help build that talent base. And it has adopted R.B Stall High School, Tindall said. Through its Dreamliners Tour Program, the company has engaged some 26,000 students.

Realizing that a community’s quality of life is not limited to industrial components, Boeing fosters a culture of community investment as well. Since 2009 it’s invested more than $15 million with non-profit organizations across the state. Its five focus areas of giving are education, arts and culture, health and human services, civic and environmental.

As a South Carolinian who grew up in the small rural Williamsburg County community of Nesmith, Tindall said she knows what all that activity means to the state and its residents. She said she is excited to be here and to be a part of BoeingSC.

Rev. Kennedy said his kids have participated in the Dreamliners Tour Program. He feels that message should be spread. He asked Dr. Barbara Nelson, Charleston County School District director of Community Outreach for comments. She noted Boeing’s partnership with Stall High and its planned partnership with Low Country Tech High.

For more information about the opportunities Boeing represents contact Candy Eslinger, Sr. Manager for Communications.

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