Horry County to pursue Boeing 777X facility

The state of Washington's loss could be Horry County's gain. County officials say they will pursue the huge Boeing 777X project that may move from the Seattle area.

As Horry County Council, Myrtle Beach City Council and state lawmakers representing the area got together for an annual meeting Monday, county council chairman Mark Lazarus announced the county would make an effort, with the state's help, to attract the Boeing plant.

"The governor did say, 'Get them interested in South Carolina.' Once they're interested in South Carolina, Horry County stands by ready to bring them in here as quickly as possible," Lazarus said.

South Carolina is thought to be in the mix, because of Boeing's Dreamliner plant near Charleston.

Last week, the Machinists union in Washington state voted down a contract proposal that would have guaranteed the 777X would be built at the Boeing facilities near Seattle.

Because of that vote, Boeing officials say they will scout new locations for building the 777, which already has many orders from Middle Eastern countries.

Lazarus says Horry County's International Technology and Aerospace Park, or ITAP, is a real selling point.

"We have a 450 acre ITAP park that's right at the runway, it attaches to our runway, it's shovel-ready, all the utilities, everything's in, it's been certified by the South Carolina Department of Commerce," he said.

If Horry County could land Boeing, it would add to what has already been a good two year stretch for job creation, Lazarus says.

Nearly 800 new jobs have been announced since January of 2012.

"It's great when everybody's working together and working hard for the same goal. And it's paying off."

Lazarus says it's early to be talking about possible incentives for Boeing, but the county would work with the state on that, including job training possibilities through Horry Georgetown Technical College.

Boeing officials have said they will make a decision on where to build the 777X within three months.