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Originally published November 4, 2013 at 4:08 PM | Page modified November 5, 2013 at 1:53 PM

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Editorial: Puget Sound workers can build a quality 737 MAX, 777X for Boeing

Puget Sound and Washington state are proud of the role they have in Boeing’s reputation for quality airliners.

Seattle Times Editorial

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PUGET Sound aerospace workers build quality airplanes. That is more than hometown pride speaking. That is a fact that Boeing knows in its corporate soul.

News of Boeing’s plans to increase the production rate for its 737 airliner in Renton is good news for the company and Washington state.

Times aerospace reporter Dominic Gates reports the increase will come as the newest model, 737 MAX, enters service. An exclamation point was put on the announcement by commitments from Chinese airlines to purchase 200 of the desirable new models.

The region was shaken by an earlier company statement to employees that detailed design work for the new 777X widebody jet would be done outside of Puget Sound. The original model was designed here, and is built in Everett.

Puget Sound and Washington state cannot take anything for granted, but the region should have confidence in the deep reservoir of skills, abilities and efficient output that resides here. Combine that with hard lessons learned by Boeing’s 787 experience, and the region remains competitive.

Indeed, Gates reported there are expectations that core design work will be done here, and that final assembly is likely to stay in Washington. Eyes are on the prize of building the 777X’s wing, the largest the company has ever designed.

Olympia knows it has a role in making Washington a hospitable home for aerospace. A practical partnership is a pragmatic reality, especially as southern states work so hard to lure Boeing away.

Washington is proud of its ties to Boeing, and its talented workforce makes that point every day.

As the company rethinks roles and assignments, it behooves Boeing to factor in the legacy of quality it has in Puget Sound.

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