By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
On Tuesday, states that wish to compete for the new Boeing 777x factory are expected to submit their proposals to the aeronautical giant.
Alabama Republican Party Chairman Bill Armistead said, “We all recently learned Huntsville might soon be home to yet another major airline plant. Boeing is seeking a location for a new 777X plant and Alabama was the first stop on their list.”
Chairman Armistead continued, “Boeing has had a presence in Alabama for over 50 years and Governor Bentley believes we should continue and expand that relationship. Alabama, as a state, has a skilled workforce that is eager to exceed the standards of Airbus and Boeing. Boeing currently employees more than 2,000 Alabamians in Huntsville, hundreds more jobs would be added if Alabama wins the bidding war for their new plant. There are currently around 15 states vying for the chance to work with Boeing, but Alabama’s chances are strong.”
Chairman Armistead said, “In July of last year, plans to open an Airbus jetliner assembly line in Mobile, Alabama were unveiled. The $600 million plant will be Airbus’s first U.S.-based production facility and will bring 1,000 jobs to Alabama. Our successful bid for the plant has brought a great deal of buzz to Mobile and as the city’s new Mayor Sandy Stimpson said, “Mobile is open for business.”
Chairman Armistead said, “Thanks to Alabama’s pro-business climate, we have one of the lowest unemployment rates in the southeast at 6.5%. This has enabled our state to recover from the deep national recession at an impressive speed. We have a reliable and skilled workforce, an impressive industrial training program for new industry, competitive utility rates, a fair tax rate and job creation tax-incentives. Alabama is also a right-to-work state, which many industries are seeking. Last year was record-breaking: Alabama exported $19.5 billion in goods. This shows that Alabama’s economy continues to improve and we are making gains in exporting to countries all over the world.”
Said Governor Bentley. “The products made in Alabama are second to none, and we have a world-class work force.”
The Alabama Congressional delegation wrote in a letter to the Boeing Chairman, “Given that Boeing already has such a significant presence in Huntsville, including performing much of its 787 and future 777X engineering work there, you are already familiar with the large, skilled, and reliable workforce that the area provides. All of Alabama’s universities offer top-notch engineering and science programs with state-of-the-art facilities that can provide the skilled personnel that your expanded presence in Huntsville would require. Locally, the University of Alabama in Huntsville offers one of the nation’s best Aerospace Engineering programs, while the Alabama Aviation Center, in partnership with the state’s two-year college system, is also committed to providing large numbers of well-educated and trained aerospace workers.”
The delegation emphasized Boeing’s significant existing footprint in North Alabama and the area’s business-friendly environment which includes decades of high-tech aerospace expertise, low taxation and cost-of-living, a rational regulatory regime, right-to-work laws, low utility rates, and excellent infrastructure.
Bentley has made improving the jobs situation in the state a priority. His biggest success to this point has been luring Aerospace Giant Airbus’s airliner assembly plant to Mobile. If Boeing locates the 777X plant to Huntsville it would cement Alabama’s position as one of the premier aerospace manufacturing and research destinations in the world complementing the state’s role as the premiere auto manufacturing home in the Southeast.
Governor Bentley (R) has said that the state expects to be able to send in a competitive proposal to Boeing.