NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - President Donald Trump highlighted his plan to increase the number of jobs for American workers as he praised Boeing South Carolina's newly unveiled Dreamliner Friday.
Trump spoke at the airline manufacturer's Dreamliner 787-10 rollout event after a brief tour of the facility.
"What an amazing piece of art, what an amazing piece of work," President Trump said in front of the new aircraft at his first return to the Palmetto State since his win in the Republican primary, a visit he called a celebration of American engineering and jobs.
"I'm going to do everything I can to unleash the power of the American spirit and put our great people to work," Trump said. "On every front, we are going to work for the American people... my focus has been all about jobs."
The president mentioned reducing regulations on U.S. businesses and pushing penalties on companies that leave the country.
Trump is the first sitting president ever to visit Boeing's South Carolina facility, and the visit occurred during Trump's first official trip during his presidency, not counting a trip to his Mar-A-Lago estate in Florida.
Trump Press Secretary Sean Spicer said on Tuesday the trip has been months in the making and said the administration was "thrilled to celebrate the rollout" of what he called an "amazing plane."
Trump was joined at the Boeing plant by South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster, Mother Emanuel AME Church's Rev. Eric Manning and Brookland Baptist Church's Dr. Charles B Jackson, Sr., and Boeing Chairman, President and CEO Dennis Muilenburg and Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Kevin McAllister, Boeing officials say.
The 787-10 Dreamliner is built exclusively in South Carolina and has received 149 orders from nine customers across the globe.
It is expected to begin flight testing later this year and will be delivered to airline customers starting in 2018.
Trump's historic visit comes just two days after Boeing workers defeated a bid to unionize.
After Friday's ceremony, the people who built the 787-10 got to see the finished product up close and personal.
For them, it was an honor to have the roll out on the day of President Trump's visit.
"It's an amazing opportunity to be able to build this aircraft," said Erwin Mays, a Boeing SC teammate."It's a blessing to be able to be in Charleston, South Carolina, the only people to touch the aircraft."
More than 2,300,000 parts were used to build the 787-10. There are already 149 orders for the plane.
"I'm about to cry, I've been here from the beginning," said Jessica Rainey, a Boeing teammate.
Any tears shed today were tears of joy.
"It's exciting to see that something I built was actually being completed and it's going to be flying soon," said Chris Marsh.
Workers got a double thrill, seeing the roll out of the plane and the president of the United States.
"It was just as much a reaction as seeing Trump," Rodney Scott said."It was astonishing."
The 787-10 is the third plane in the Dreamliner fleet.
It is longer and lighter than its predecessors, and seats 330 people.
"It's actually an amazing aircraft from start to finish and I love the paint job," said Mays."I'm a Colts' fan as you can see. I love blue and blue and white, I love it."
Officials said travelers at the Charleston International Airport would experience delays around the time of the president's arrival and departure. The airspace around the airport shut down 30 minutes prior to Trump's arrival and will reopen 30 minutes after his departure, airport spokesperson Charlene Gunnels has confirmed.
Flights will resume while Trump visits the Boeing plant, airport officials say.
The cell phone waiting area closed between 11 a.m. and will open sometime after 2 p.m. Dreamliner Drive, a road mostly used by employees of the airport, will also be closed at the same time.