HUNTSVILLE, Alabama - Several states are vying for Boeing’s 777X manufacturing center and over ten thousands of jobs. One of those states is Alabama, whose governor has already met face-to-face with Boeing officials.
There is a lot of history in Huntsville, Alabama - some of it old and a lot of it, not very old at all.
Huntsville, the high tech town, grew out of WWII and the famous Redstone arsenal and is a big part of America’s space program. Boeing’s been part of that for a half century.
Among the red dirt and the cotton fields, Boeing employs a few thousand people. In fact, the engineering teams are already there and will be designing pieces of the 777X.
“We have a city of about 180,000 folks,” said John Hamilton
Hamilton is now the city’s new administrator. He was recently a senior officer in the arsenal and he believes Huntsville could build the 777X. It has the brain power.
“Some of those are in the defense business. Some of those are in support of NASA,” he said.
And there’s a half million people in Madison County alone to draw from to assemble it.
“We believe the work force is available and they’ll come from a long way for these types of jobs,” said Hamilton.
If Boeing builds a jet in Alabama, it won’t be the first. Near the Gulf Coast outside of Mobile, Airbus is already constructing a factory to build A320 passenger jets that compete against Boeing’s 737. And now Alabama’s governor says he’s ready to reel in another airplane prize.
“We do believe we offer in Alabama something very special, especially around the Huntsville area,” said Alabama Governor Robert Bentley, after speaking to a business group in Birmingham about his discussions with Boeing.
"I really do believe they're serious," said Bentley.