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Boeing South Carolina Community Newsletter

Straight from the Senate

S.C. Senate Resolution recognizes Boeing and Dreamlifter Operations teammates

The Dreamlifter Operations team and Lane Ballard, 787 VP and GM and BSC Site Leader, are presented with Senate Resolution 724. Left to right: Lane Ballard, Kevin Wescott, Brian Hall, Sen. Marlon Kimpson, Taylor Beck, Kyle Starck, Mike Walker, Ty Staal, and Pedro Orellana

One of the Deamlifter COVID-19 relief missions included delivering pallets of PPE to North Charleston to benefit the Medical University of South Carolina’s frontline health care professionals.

On June 15, South Carolina State Senator Marlon Kimpson, who represents Charleston and Dorchester Counties, visited Boeing South Carolina to present Senate Resolution 724.

The Resolution, sponsored by Sen. Kimpson, recognizes Boeing and the Dreamlifter Operations team for “delivering life-saving Personal Protective Equipment to the residents of South Carolina and citizens across the country during the COVID-19 global pandemic.”

You can read the full resolution here.

Over the course of the pandemic, Boeing delivered 4.5 million units of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to health care professionals across eleven airlift missions on Boeing airplanes, including the Dreamlifter.

Watch this video as Sen. Kimpson explains why he championed this resolution.

Sharing the dream

DreamLearners volunteers celebrate with the community during Juneteenth event

Boeing South Carolina teammates shared the dream with young students and joined in a Juneteenth celebration during the Root of Soul: J19th Fest. Boeing Black Employee Association volunteers supported BSC’s interactive hands-on STEAM-based DreamLearners booth at the festival’s Kid Zone.

The Root of Soul: J19th Fest is an immersive, two-day celebration of African American emancipation and the vibrant culture that grew from that historic event. Held at Exchange Park in Ladson, the festival is Charleston’s largest Juneteenth event. This fun, unifying community celebration is hosted by the Grace Impact Development Center with the purpose to educate, uplift, and reaffirm pride in African American attendees, while also allowing other cultures to learn more about African American history and achievements through energetic music, zestful dancing, and soul food.

Boeing South Carolina teammate Daryl Henry interacts with students at Boeing’s DreamLearners booth during the Root of Soul J19th Fest.

Inclusion for all

Boeing shares diversity metrics for first time

Boeing published its diversity metrics earlier this year for the first time in the company’s history — an important step in sharing current levels of representation, measuring progress annually and uniting all team members in building a more equitable, inclusive Boeing.

The 2021 Global Equity Diversity & Inclusion Report shares gender and racial and ethnic minority representation data. It also describes the steps the company is taking to advance equity, diversity and inclusion throughout its workforce, communities and industry.

The report follows through on a critical commitment Boeing made last year in its equity action plan: to share its representation numbers and progress annually.

“This is an important step. And it is one we take with humility, because we are not satisfied with the current levels of representation across our workforce or our industry,” said Boeing President and CEO David Calhoun in a message to employees. “Transparently sharing our progress now and every year going forward will help hold us accountable for achieving the goals that we’ve set to improve in all of these areas.”

Did you know?

South Carolina State and Allen University among HBCU flags flying to space on Boeing Starliner

Flags from select historically black colleges and universities, and a few additional universities, are part of the cargo for Boeing Starliner’s second Orbital Flight Test. Credit: John Proferes

The practice of carrying items aboard a spacecraft goes back to the early days of America’s space program and helps to acknowledge the immense work and dedication required to develop, build and fly a spacecraft.

The higher education mementos will be part of the approximately 760 pounds of cargo flying inside the Starliner’s crew module when it launches to the International Space Station for OFT-2, which is targeted for July 30. The end-to-end test is a critical developmental milestone on the company’s path toward flying crew missions for NASA.

NASA cargo, weighing approximately 440 pounds, includes food and crew preference items for the current Expedition crew members, as well as a commemorative U.S. flag that will remain aboard the space station until it returns to Earth on Starliner’s Crew Flight Test (CFT). Starliner will also carry provisions, like clothes and sleeping bags, for CFT astronauts.

Boeing’s cargo, weighing approximately 320 pounds, includes other special commemorative items for Starliner teammates, suppliers and partners who have worked tirelessly to get the spacecraft flying safely.

Read more about the other items making the journey here.

Bionics allow teammates to suit up for safety

Exoskeleton vest reduces strains and sprains while increasing quality

Miles Flynt, a BSC teammate, uses the exoskeleton vest to assist with overhead work.

Jason Hill, a Boeing Salt Lake airplane mechanic by day and avid hockey player in his off-hours, truly appreciates the protection the right safety gear provides both on the job and in the rink.

“I suit up for hockey. I wear my helmet. I wear all my pads so that I don’t get injured,” said Hill. “And I do the same thing when I come to Boeing.”

Sanding, sealing and painting the 787 Dreamliner horizontal stabilizer requires Hill to spend significant time working with his arms stretched above his head — work that once put additional strain on his shoulders, forearms and elbows.

Thanks to a new bionic piece of exoskeleton personal protective equipment (PPE), Hill and teammates from Salt Lake City, Utah, to North Charleston, South Carolina, from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to San Antonio, Texas, and from Everett, Washington, to St. Louis, Missouri, are getting a welcome boost when performing prolonged overhead work.

The exoskeleton vest has been undergoing testing at a number of Boeing sites since 2018. It is rolling out as an innovative enterprise standard tool designed to lessen the pressure mechanics bear as they work repetitive jobs at chest level and above.

“It feels like someone’s behind me holding up my arms,” said Miles Flynt, a Boeing South Carolina mechanic.

“When you activate the vest, it’s somewhere between five to 18 pounds of weight offloaded from the wearer,” said Christopher Reid, a Boeing South Carolina engineer who specializes in ergonomics and wearable technology. “It reduces the stress on the shoulders and ultimately reduces injuries.”

Resembling a high-tech comic book character’s armor, the spring-based mechanism is worn much like a backpack. It employs a system of straps and mechanical arms, supporting the user’s shoulders as they perform overhead work such as drilling.

Futuristic as it may seem, the vest is positively impacting safety today.

“Where we have implemented it, we have seen zero shoulder injuries, fewer sprains and more muscle and joint relief,” said Gary McCulley, Boeing Commercial Airplanes vice president of Manufacturing and Safety. “Ergonomically, this vest is a huge benefit to our teammates.”