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oeing has provided jobs for Wichitans and helped our city prosper for 74 years. However, on Jan. 4, Boeing announced they will be closing the Wichita plant by the end of 2013. Boeing has been a part of Wichita since 1938, and has helped established Wichita’s title as the “Air Capital of the World”, yet that won’t be able to save Boeing any money. One major factor of Boeing’s decision to close were the defense spending cutbacks. When Boeing first landed the tanker deal (an estimated $35 billion to build 179 Air Force refueling tankers), Boeing promised to stay in Wichita. The deal was also thought to create more than 7,000 jobs,

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“Personally, it’s a lot harder than it used to be. We have to watch what we do and watch our spending,”

but instead, more than 2,000 will be losing theirs as the plant shuts down and the work is relocating to Seattle, Washington and Oklahoma City. Shelly Cunningham-Nolan, sr., is just one of the people whose family will be affected by the closing. Her mom, Shana Cunningham, has worked at Boeing for 15 years, and was temporarily transferred to Seattle. However, due to Boeing’s decision to close, Cunningham will not be returning to Wichita. “Of course it makes me sad, but I know in

order to take care of my brother and sister she has to stay there and work,” Cunningham-Nolan said. Like Cunningham, other Boeing employees are given the choice of staying in Wichita and losing their jobs, or moving. The choice has not been easy for many, including Trey Winters, soph., whose father works at Boeing. “We’ll have to

--- ASHTON BETHEL, SR.

relocate if he wants to stay at Boeing. I kinda’ don’t want to go, but I do so I can start over,” Winters said, also saying that it would be hard to leave friends behind. Some workers, however, have chosen to stay in Wichita. Senior Ashton Bethel’s father, Mark Bethel, is one of the workers who

SEE BOEING ON PAGE 19

PHOTO COURTESY OF VU VUONG

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