Speaking to a gathering of corporate real estate professionals today, one of the region's top job recruiters said Charlotte is a "long shot" to win the emerging national bidding war for Boeing's planned 777X aircraft manufacturing plant.
Ronnie Bryant, CEO of the Charlotte Regional Partnership, made the comment during a speech at the City Club uptown to the Carolinas chapter of CoreNet Global, a professional group with chapters around the world. Bryant, whose group markets the 16-county Charlotte region to outside companies, said the Queen City is extremely competitive in recruiting jobs in many industries, including aerospace.
But referring to the quest to land the Boeing plant, he said: "I think it's a long shot for this market." Asked for elaboration after the event ended, Bryant told the Observer he didn't know if Charlotte and North Carolina would be able to match the kind of incentives other competitors are offering.
Charlotte is among more than a dozen cities and states submitting bids to win the plant and thousands of good-paying jobs that would come with it. Washington state, already home to a large Boeing presence, has offered an $8.7 billion incentives package to keep the new jobs there. "That's a big number," Bryant said. "We've never approved anything like that."
Gov. Pat McCrory and Commerce Secretary Sharon Decker have declined to talk about the project. Bryant said his group isn't involved. "I don't see it," he said, referring to the chances of Charlotte getting the plant. "But maybe someone sees something I don't see."