Oh dear god, where to begin.
They quite literally have a policy of treating engineers and potential employees like shit. This was before their insipid 'let's outsource everything' craze. One friend was hired, told to pay their own move out to Washington, then when he arrived was told there wasn't a job available for him. Callie's comment combined with that should tell you enough about why they complain about not being able to retain talent. Keep in mind, this is the sort of talent that is still facing a whopping 3% unemployment rate even now.
Boeing (and a lot of other companies, but it's the most blatant with them) is finally realizing that outsourcing is not always a brilliant move. They've had delays across their development line because of it and last count was this cost them some five billion as of last year IIRC.
A lot of companies in America have forgotten that they rely on people. Boeing is just a chief example. In the 90's they were blaming Microsoft. They'll blame people until they collapse.
My brother, who works for Lockheed on the JSTF (Joint STrike Fighter), told me this practice they like to do on government contracts.
They will hired 25% or more above what they need for a contract, particularly for the military. They will work the crews, be they assembly teams or engineers, till they drop then about 2/3rd to 3/4s of the way through the contract..then cut manning by as much as 65% and then when they fall behind come up with all manners of excuses and use it as a way to renegotiate the contract with a longer time frame, more cash and rehire up the laid off workers back at starting rate with no compensation for lost time, seniority and such. No wonder the union wants assurances. The only reason that Boeing hasn't moved overseas or outsourced is the moment they do they know they are done. No more good boy contracts from the military and government.
The P-8A, the replacement for the aircraft I worked on for 10+ years, was SUPPOSED to be manning up for squadron deployments next year at the original contract time. The Navy MIGHT get their hands on run up units this coming year.. if they are lucky.
One little design secret, when you add a design feature like a bomb bay to an established airframe like 737, it is very difficult to pull off. Witness the fact that they are now SIX years behind original projection. It's easy to get a computer simulation to perform to work but moving it over to real life can be hand.
Don't get me wrong, Boeing isn't completely bad or incompetent. They have an extremely well laid out supply program and one of the best civilian maintenance programs there is for the aircraft industry. They have done a LOT for aircraft safety and design criteria but they need to realize that they have to change their business practices. Of course I think the industry as a whole needs to do a lot, of course I think that some of them have vastly unfair business advantages.
Like look into the perks and support that Airbus gets from the EU and various states within it.
If the US government did HALF the things that are given to help out the EU to any of the US companies they'd be mauled in the media for it.