Boeing vendor from Washington state to open Charleston office

PacRim counts Boeing Co. among its customers.

An aerospace engineering firm from Boeing Co.'s backyard in Washington state is now set up in downtown Charleston.

Kirkland, Wash.-based Pacific Rim Aerospace said its new outpost at 215 East Bay St. will allow it to better serve "customers in the growing aerospace sector of the Southeast region."

The company, which goes by PacRim, is an engineering solutions provider for Boeing and other clients, including government agencies and private aircraft owners. It said it expects to create at least 100 jobs from the new office over the next couple of years and hopes to add a second, larger office in North Charleston at some point.

"We believe (Boeing's) commitment is strong in the region, which is why we chose Charleston," said company president and founder Jill McCallum, who toured the Charleston area with a group of women-owned businesses tied to Boeing in November. "Over the next 10 years, we see that as being a large center for growth in design and engineering for us."

The North Charleston office will be larger because "it's closer to the other tier-one (suppliers) that are supporting Boeing," she said.

Founded in 2007, the company currently employs about 30 people in Washington state, Australia and China. The surge of aerospace in the Southeast, led by Boeing's North Charleston presence and likelihood to grow, will mean the local operation will be larger than the home office in Washington state, McCallum said.

PacRim plans to support Boeing and other customers in the Pacific Northwest from its headquarters. It will work with Boeing's Southeast operations and other clients around the region from its new office.

"We are thrilled to be a part of this community and look forward to working with and developing local resources to ensure long-term quality and success to the region," McCallum said in a statement.

Boeing assembles and makes parts for the 787 Dreamliner at Charleston International Airport, where the company plans to invest another $1 billion by 2020. It also is building a plant that will make engine inlet components for the 737 MAX in a nearby industrial park.

PacRim joins about 70 aerospace-related firms in the Lowcountry. The majority of those are in Charleston County, according to the state Commerce Department's website.