By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
No announcement has been made yet on the site of Boeing’s massive 777x airliner factory, yet; but Boeing Co. is sending 300 to 400 new jobs to Huntsville anyway. Boeing announced on Thursday that it will bring one of five research centers to Huntsville creating between 300 and 400 high-paying jobs as part of a restructuring of its Boeing Research & Technology organization.
Alabama Governor Robert Bentley (R) was understandably pleased. Gov. Bentley said in a written statement, “I am excited by Boeing’s decision to locate a new research center to Huntsville that will create a significant number of jobs for the people in Madison County. Innovation and research are key components of our Accelerate Alabama plan for job creation, and Huntsville is the perfect location for this new Boeing research center. Boeing has been in Alabama for over 50 years, and today’s news is a continuation of the great partnership between Boeing and the State of Alabama. I appreciate Boeing’s investment in Huntsville and its confidence in the Alabama workforce.”
Congressman Mo Brooks (R) from Huntsville said on Facebook. “I’m appreciative of Boeing’s continued investment in Alabama, and am pleased to hear of Huntsville’s selection as a research facility center location. The addition of 300 – 400 jobs is a testament to our outstanding workforce and of Boeing’s commitment to the Tennessee Valley. I hope it is a harbinger of things to come.”
Senator Sessions (R) from Alabama said in a written statement, “I am gratified to hear that Boeing is expanding its commitment to the Huntsville area by developing a new research and technology facility in the community. This will add over 300 jobs by 2015. A top flight work force with great technical skill continues to draw world class businesses. I salute the local leaders in all areas where hard work made this possible.”
Alabama Secretary of Commerce Greg Canfield (R) said in a written statement, “We are working hard to create high-skilled, high-paying jobs in Alabama like those announced today by Boeing. This project is perfectly aligned with the goals of the Accelerate Alabama plan, which aims to expand the technology and research sectors that support advanced manufacturing.”
Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle said, “This represents another new area of technological depth in Huntsville and is further validation of Boeing’s continued investment in our city. The program reaffirms our dedication to the STEM disciplines we teach in our schools that will prepare students for the future workforce.”
Madison County Commission Chairman Dale Strong (R) said, “This is great news for our county and our entire region,” Madison County Commission Chairman Dale Strong said. “Boeing has a rich history in our community solving some of the most difficult technical challenges our nation has ever faced. From the space program to protecting our nation from missile attacks their engineers have led the way. This new center will help Boeing continue to support these programs and help design a new future for commercial aviation. We pursued this project aggressively as a team because it is a great fit for our community and could lead to more good news down the road. This announcement shows that Boeing understands this is a great place to do business and that we stand ready to support any new program or mission that they choose to locate in our community.”
The Alabama Congressional Delegation wrote to Boeing recently, “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.”
On Tuesday, the state of Alabama submitted a bid to Boeing to locate a 777X airliner fuselage plant in Huntsville. Boeing is looking to move the 777X work out of the state of Washington due to reluctance on the part of Boeing workers there to renegotiate pension benefits at the factory. The Alabama package of incentives and tax rebates reportedly could total $1.2 billion.
The addition of the Boeing research center jobs is welcome news for Governor Bentley which has made job creation the focus of his first term.