The post-industrial era has not been kind to the part of Pennsylvania along the Delaware River south of Philadelphia. Hundreds of factories have closed, and tens of thousands of jobs have disappeared over the last few decades. But sitting in the midst of this desolate landscape is an oasis of economic stability, the headquarters and main manufacturing site of Boeing Vertical Lift. Located in Ridley Township, the plant’s 6,000+ workers produce the Army’s Chinook helicopter and fuselages for the revolutionary Osprey tiltrotor. The same business unit manufactures Apache attack helicopters in Mesa, Arizona at a similarly sprawling facility (with nearly 5,000 workers). Leanne Caret, the General Manager of Boeing Vertical Lift, is irrepressibly enthusiastic about her products and workers. She is executing lean-enterprise initiatives within the Delaware Valley complex to drive out costs and minimize injuries, while pursuing ambitious marketing campaigns for her unit’s rotorcraft overseas. I have written a commentary for Forbes here.
Find Archived Articles: