Boeing is moving its corporate headquarters from crime-ridden Chicago to northern Virginia, the airplane manufacturing giant announced last week.
What are the details?
Boeing announced last Thursday that Arlington, Virginia, a city on the outskirts of the nation’s capital, will be the location of its new global corporate headquarters. The company has operated its corporate headquarters in Chicago since 2001.
“We are excited to build on our foundation here in Northern Virginia,” said Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun. “The region makes strategic sense for our global headquarters given its proximity to our customers and stakeholders, and its access to world-class engineering and technical talent.”
Still, Boeing said it would maintain a “significant presence” in the Chicago area, with several hundred employees remaining in the region.
Why is Boeing moving?
News outlets attributed the forthcoming move to Boeing’s alleged desire to be closer to the federal government, considering a significant portion of its revenue is generated from military contracts. The Pentagon is also one of Boeing’s top clients.
While that may be true, there is no doubt that new Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) and the direction he is steering the Commonwealth played a role.
In fact, as National Review noted, two reasons in particular may have persuaded Boeing’s decision to move: crime and the business environment.
Crime in Chicago is up 35 percent this year compared with the same period in 2021. Theft is up by 67 percent.
The business climate is dismal, the result of punishing tax and regulatory policies that make Illinois the third-most unfriendly state for job creation in the nation. So it’s no surprise that the state’s unemployment rate is the sixth-highest in the nation.
If you read between the lines, statements from leaders involved in the move appear to corroborate this theory.
For example, Youngkin said his “day one” goal has been to make Virginia attractive for businesses and Americans alike.
“Boeing is one of America’s great pioneering businesses & I am thrilled the company has decided to headquarter in VA & look forward to working with them to attract even more talent to VA,” Youngkin said in a statement. “From day one, our goal has been to make VA the best place to live, work, & raise a family.”
For his part, Calhoun went out of his way to “especially thank Governor Youngkin for his partnership.” According to the Washington Post, Youngkin has a personal relationship with Calhoun and had been working with Boeing for months to persuade the company to move.
Meanwhile, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot released a statement defending Chicago.
“We have a robust pipeline of major corporate relocations and expansions, and we expect more announcements in the coming months,” she said, the Chicago Tribune reported. “What remains to be true is that Chicago is a major hub for global corporations that recognize our diverse workforce, expansive infrastructure and thriving economy.”
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) even blasted Boeing.
“Boeing’s decision to leave Illinois is incredibly disappointing—every level of government in our state has worked to make Chicago and Illinois the perfect home for Boeing’s headquarters for the past 20 years,” Durbin said. “We are working together to ensure Boeing leadership both understands how harmful this move will be and does everything possible to protect Illinois’s workers and jobs.”