Flying High

Boeing Seattle workforce climbs. For the first time in a dozen years, more than 80,000 people are employed at Boeing Co. in Washington state. The commercial jet manufacturer added more than 7,000 employees to its Washington workforce in 2012, reporting a total of 80,666 employees at the end of September. In December 1999, it had 80,900. The company’s all-time high employment in Washington was 104,000 in June 1998.

Boeing is setting records for orders and deliveries. It delivered 377 of its 737s in 2012, beating its previous record of 376, The Associated Press reports.

The Chicago-based company also broke its record for net orders in a single year, logging 1,031 net orders for all 737 models. The previous record was 846, reports the Puget Sound Business Journal.

Rocky Mountain Tech

An electronics industry cluster develops in Denver. Hitachi Data Systems is opening up a new hub early this year in Douglas County, Colo., where it will employ 200 people in engineering and corporate positions, most of them hired locally. The quality of the local workforce led the Santa Clara, Calif.–based company to decide to build a hub for Hitachi Ltd. in the Denver area. Hitachi will join Arrow Electronics, which relocated its headquarters from New York to nearby Arapahoe County about a year ago.

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper says he expects more electronics companies to follow. “These are great high-paying jobs. They are creative people that are going to get involved in all manner of civic organizations.”

On the Payroll

Oil and gas boom blows up twin Texas towns’ incomes. The next-door towns of Midland and Odessa, Texas, which respectively enjoy the No. 6 and No. 2 top spots on Area Development’s 2012 Leading Locations list, also posted some of the biggest increases in per capita income from 2009 to 2011, the U.S. Census reports.

Midland’s income was up 25.5 percent, from 2009 to 2011, to $65,173. Odessa logged a 19.1 percent climb to $38,385.

History in Waiting

An 86-year-old abandoned theater may be resurrected. For more than three decades the in Charlotte, N.C., has sat decaying, stripped of its grand 1920s-era ornamentation, its stage empty and dusty. Now there are three groups proposing to renovate the building that was among the grandest public buildings in Charlotte when it was finished in 1927.

City officials are pondering the various proposals to reuse the building if it’s not renovated to its former glory, which could be a costly expense. Many of the theater’s fancy fixtures are gone, but some pieces of its windows, arches, and carved ornaments remain stored under the stage, The Charlotte Observer reports.

Shiny Spot in the Rust Belt

Columbus, Ind., is an outlier in the Midwest’s industrial decline. While the rest of the Rust Belt struggles with a decline in manufacturing and its resultant job losses, Columbus, Ind.—45 miles south of Indianapolis—is thriving. The city has racked up an average of one corporate expansion per month since 2010, creating 1,840 jobs and the third-highest employment figures on record, according to Area Development, which ranked Columbus No. 1 on its Leading Locations list for 2012.

Many company headquarters are based in Columbus, including Cummins Inc., NTN Bearing Co. of America, Faurecia, and Dorel Juvenile Group. The city’s single-count Metropolitan Statistical Area’s GDP is greater than that of 37 countries, according to .

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