The award, this year, will go to a local company for making a significant contribution to the international business community of Tacoma-Pierce County: Boeing. If there is a single reason why Washington is the nation’s most trade dependent state, it surely is the Boeing Company.
The award commemorates George Francis Train, a legendary Boston Yankee who had a special place in his heart for Tacoma. Train was the most prominent promoter in the groundbreaking for the transcontinental railroad in Omaha and claimed credit for the selection of Tacoma as the western terminus of the Northern Pacific Railroad, coining the appellation “City of Destiny.”
This award was developed in recognition of the tremendous importance in international business locally and for its significant economic and cultural contribution to our community.
Boeing is the world's leading aerospace company and the largest manufacturer of commercial jetliners such as the 737, 747, 767, 777 and 787 Dreamliner and military aircraft combined.
Additionally, Boeing designs and manufactures rotorcraft, electronic and defense systems, missiles, satellites, launch vehicles and advanced information and communication systems.
Boeing also provides products and support services to customers in more than150 countries and is one of the largest U.S. exporters in terms of sales.
Being a Global partner, global markets are important to the Boeing Company, here are just a few telling examples:
- 40 percent of total company revenue now comes from customers outside the United States.
- Non-U.S. carriers and leasing companies that do business globally combine to account for nearly 90 percent of Boeing’s current commercial airplane backlog, by dollars.
- International sales currently contribute almost 14 percent of Integrated Defense Systems overall revenue, and the plan is to increase this to 20 percent in the years ahead.
The company works with over 2,000 businesses, and 2,800 suppliers to create jobs and economic opportunities within the Puget Sound.
Boeing has a proven record of contributing innovative products and services to the world, applying that expertise and spirit of innovation to address community needs.
For example, in 2010 the Boeing Employees Community Fund (ECF) funded a total of $1.3 to United Way of Pierce County and direct grants to Pierce County nonprofits. In addition, Boeing employees designated an additional $731,000 directly to Pierce County nonprofits.
Boeing employs more than 165,000 people across the United States and in 70 countries. In Washington State, there are over 73,500 employees and 59,000 retirees. Many thousands of our fellow Pierce County residents commute daily to one or another of the Boeing facilities in Puget Sound.
It is our good fortune that the leading edge of Boeing technology is located in Pierce County, its Frederickson Fabrication plant. The Frederickson site is the 4th largest employer in Pierce County and employs 1,750 employees. This evening, Gary Bartnes, director of the Skin & Spar manufacturing business unit at Boeing’s Frederickson site will accept the 2011George Francis Train International Business Award.