Will Boeing bring businesses to Myrtle Beach? - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Will Boeing bring businesses to Myrtle Beach?

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By Laura Thomas - bio | email

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) -   It's an area with a lot of potential, but will an aerospace park located in Myrtle Beach fill up with businesses once Boeing arrives?

Even though the plant will be located in North Charleston, lawmakers say not all of the plane parts will be made there and could be made in nearby cities like Myrtle Beach.

Scott Morrow, an aviation consultant, says there is a real need to beef up infrastructure in the area to draw businesses in.

"If you want to bring in aviation related business into an aviation area, an aviation industrial park, whatever it may be, you have to have what's necessary to make the individual businesses work," explained Morrow.

He says not to expect to see the production of huge plane parts.

"If you're talking about Boeing related stuff, you're talking about heavy duty, big aircraft manufacturing, even if it's that little component the size of your thumb. It is detailed. It is skill-requiring and that's what this area needs,” explained Morrow, when asked about the need for a more skilled labor force in the area.

Morrow says one of his main concerns is the lack of a skilled aviation labor force in the area. He says companies could set up shop in the aerospace park and sell those products to Boeing, but those products would be smaller, less technical parts for the planes.

He says that’s because making larger parts for the plane requires more skilled workers, a lot of money, and a lot of space.

Michael Marlowe, general aviation manager for Myrtle Beach International, says that there are some classes coming to local colleges, adding there's still time to train people in the area for aviation jobs.

“We have Coastal Carolina here. We have Horry-Georgetown Tech and we have the opportunity to train air-frame power plant mechanics here,” explained Marlowe. “Those mechanics are desired very much by plants like Boeing.”

Marlowe says he does think some of that labor force could come from the area and notes this aerospace park is a good spot for businesses.

"It's a distinct possibility that we could have different businesses that would like to relocate or to start up here in our facility, [on out] 460 acres of air park which is prime location," said Marlowe.

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