“Always bet on Boeing?”

South Carolina’s biggest-ever taxpayer-funded economic development gamble might one day pay off, but right now the hits keep-a-coming for the Chicago-based aircraft manufacturer.

This week The Wall Street Journal exclusively reported on Boeing’s “plans to cut hundreds of workers at a South Carolina factory where it builds 787 Dreamliners.”¬†How many workers? Up to twenty percent of the facility’s 6,000 employees – which for those of you educated in South Carolina public schools equals 1,200 employees.

According to company officials quoted by The Journal, the layoffs are not related to the recent grounding of the Dreamliner – which has been plagued by problems since its inception. Instead they are the result of a ramp down from “surge activities” associated with the launching of the facility.

“As we progress in improving efficiencies in our processes, training our entry-level employees and growing the experience of our team in South Carolina, we expect to continue to reduce reliance on contract labor/ industry assist to meet our production objectives,” a company spokesman told Reuters.

Translation? Expect more “efficiencies” in the future …

As for the Dreamliner itself, Boeing is trying desperately to get its next generation passenger jet in the air again.

South Carolina elected officials – led by Gov. Nikki Haley – have praised the state’s $900 million investment in the aircraft manufacturer, with Haley praising the Dreamliners as “Mack Daddy Planes’ in her 2012 address to the GOP national convention.

Haley’s office did not respond to our request for comment on these layoffs, nor did a spokeswoman at the governor’s Department of Commerce.

We were hoping for a little “miggity miggity miggity miggity Mack Daddy” by way of a response but alas …

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