Delay In U.S. Army Upgrade Of Chinook Helicopter Would Devastate Boeing Workforce In Pennsylvania

The Boeing Company?s helicopter plant in Ridley Township, Pennsylvania is an oasis amidst industrial decay. The lower Delaware Valley was once America?s manufacturing heartland, hosting the world?s biggest builder of locomotives (Baldwin), the biggest television production site (Philco), refineries and shipyards. Most of that is gone now, leaving the 4,200 skilled workers at the Boeing complex as a striking exception to recent economic trends.

But a potential change of plans by the U.S. Army could soon bring devastating news for hundreds of employees at the Boeing plant ? not to mention workers in a supply chain stretching from the Midwest to Florida. The Army is contemplating a long delay in the production of an upgraded version of its CH-47F ?Chinook? helicopter ? the signature airframe built at the complex.