This is the day: Happy Birthday, Boeing.

We’ve written about the Boeing centennial before (for example, here and here). But today’s the day, and we’d be remiss if we did not join with others in extending our appreciation for the company and its presence in our state.

The Seattle Times has a good editorial, which begins… 

ONE cannot overstate the profound influence Boeing has had on the Puget Sound region, Washington and the rest of the United States over the last century.

Right. And the editorial acknowledges the public support for the company.

Public support has ranged from early government contracts boosting the fledgling plane builder to the federal incubation of aluminum smelters and hydroelectric dams that provided Boeing with power and materials as its scaled up during World War II.

More recently, public support has come from state tax incentives securing the next generation of carbon-fiber jetliner manufacturing in Boeing’s native territory.

Dividends from these investments are immeasurable. 

The returns include nurturing the state’s technology cluster and support for public education. 

The Everett Herald also takes editorial notice of the centennial and similarly notes the benefits of public support for the company.

But all those resources have helped secure hundreds of thousands of jobs over the decades, provided tax revenue of their own and encouraged further development of education and infrastructure that made Everett, Snohomish County and Washington state the economic engines they are today.

We’d also call your attention to an excellent op-ed by Microsoft president Brad Smith and United Way of King County president and CEO Jon Fine. Read the whole thing for an insight into corporate history and philanthropy. 

Today, Boeing touches virtually every person in our state. Chances are that you have a family member, friend or neighbor who works for the company. That’s because Boeing is the state’s largest private employer, with more than 75,000 employees. Or perhaps you know someone who works at one of the thousands of local suppliers that support the company’s operations. In all, more than 267,000 jobs in Washington, paying a whopping $22 billion in annual wages, depend on the vibrant aerospace industry that has grown up around Boeing…

In 1917, shortly after that first test flight, Bill Boeing made his first charitable contribution to the University of Washington. It was a first step in what would become an admirable long-term commitment to local schools and nonprofits. Boeing and Microsoft enjoy a shared tradition of strong philanthropic activity that began very early in each company’s history, belying the notion that a company has to “grow up” before it can support the community.

There’s more, as befits a 100-year birthday, including this release from Boeing, a good article by Dan Catchpole in the Herald, and a piece in the Seattle P-I with some great video

Happy Birthday and best wishes for the next century.