Boeing Named to PrimeWIN Program

Wednesday, June 8, 2011 6:00 am

by D. Ray Tuttle

Journal Record

With 34 aerospace engineering subcontractors working on E-4B National Airborne Command Post aircraft in Oklahoma City, the Boeing Co. is the first participant accepted into the state's PrimeWIN program.

Gov. Mary Fallin made the announcement Tuesday during the 10th Oklahoma Aerospace Summit and Expo at the Tulsa Convention Center.

PrimeWIN is an incentive program designed to match Oklahoma subcontractors with federal prime contractors, said Dave Lopez, Oklahoma secretary of commerce and tourism.

"We wanted to get more federal government project work into the state so Oklahoma companies can bring more jobs and investment into the state," Fallin said.

The program incentivizes prime contractors no matter where they are located to subcontract work in Oklahoma, Lopez said.

"The prime contractor receives the incentive and the Oklahoma businesses get the work and are able to create jobs," Lopez said.

Steve Hendrickson, Boeing director of government operations in Oklahoma, called the program genius public policy.

"It incentivizes companies to put labor into the state," Hendrickson said. "And, the incentive is post-performance not one dime of state incentives goes into this until a job is created in the state."

Boeing, which employs 740 at its maintenance base in Oklahoma, will bring another 550 jobs to the facility in 2012, said Jennifer Hogan, Boeing spokeswoman.

The PrimeWIN program provides a cash benefit of up to 2 percent of the Oklahoma workforce loaded labor cost.

Once a company applies and is accepted, it makes a declaration of the amount of labor associated with that federal contract, said retired U.S. Maj. Gen. Al Goodbary, executive director of the PrimeWIN program office.

"That number will be used to calculate the incentive," Goodbary said.

The incentives are paid quarterly for 10 years by the Oklahoma Tax Commission, said Steve Bullock, PrimeWIN director of operations.

The program is revenue-neutral, Lopez said.

Oklahoma already has a subcontracting network of at least 600 to 700 companies, Goodbary said.

In April, Fallin signed a bill that re-established tax credits for aerospace engineers going to work for Oklahoma companies and for the companies that hire them. Oklahoma offers tax credits up to $5,000 a year to newly hired aerospace engineers and up to 5-percent reimbursement of payroll to the companies hiring them.

"We want to create more jobs and the best business climate possible," Fallin said.