Dreamliner rollout an 'emotional thing' for employees

David Fabian, pictured above on the far right, says it's great to be a part of the Boeing team. (Joe O'Neill/WCIV)

By Natalie

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- No job is too big or too small at Boeing in North Charleston. David Fabian's job is almost microscopic.

"It is a tough job. We make holes that are measured to a thousandth of an inch. So, it's pretty challenging at times," he said.

But, it's a challenge Fabian says he's happy to take on after some turbulent moments last year when his 27-year career in transportation and international trade ended.

"I got laid off the end of last May and started the job search. Put in a resume and they called me up and said, 'hey you ever thought about building airplanes?' I said, 'I've done a lot of things in my life, never built an airplane. Sure, why not?' It's an emotional thing. It really is," Fabian said.

Fabian says Boeing gave him a home and made him part of a team of which many are proud. Andrea Wilson, a Lowcountry native from St. Stephen, shares the same feelings of pride found with Fabian and many other Boeing employees.

"There's tremendous opportunity here and what you want to do with your career," Wilson said.

The opportunity Boeing provides stretched across the Palmetto State as many relocated to work at the North Charleston plant. It also attracted outsiders, who now call Charleston home. Travis Barnard, moved here from Atlanta.

"I mean, Boeing and a beach, c'mon," he said.

The last few months have not been easy for the employees. All are now in the midst of a major milestone for the North Charleston plant as the first completed Dreamliner rolled out on the tarmac Friday.

"We've got a lot of time, energy and frustration -- energy and emotion put in this aircraft, so it means a lot," Boeing employee, Christopher Situra said.

Each worker contributes parts of the major puzzle. Fabian says he's happy to have a piece in it.

"One person doesn't build an airplane. It takes all these thousands of people to put it together and to build it. It's a wonderful feeling to be part of a team that does what we do," Fabian said.

The employees will soon be shifting into high gear as they work towards Boeing's production target of 3.5 planes per month, a goal executives say they hope they'll make by early 2014.