Monday, Airbus leadership joined with local elected officials and education professionals at Bishop State Community College to roll out the aerospace giant’s growth plans for its Mobile manufacturing facility.
The company announced the addition of a third final assembly line to support increased production of its A320 Family of single-aisle passenger aircraft.
Airbus’ growth plans called for the creation of 1,000 new jobs to its Mobile workforce over the coming years, which currently sits at around 1,200.
Gov. Kay Ivey celebrated the company’s announcement and hailed the state’s efforts in developing the aerospace workforce.
“It’s wonderful to see Airbus continue to grow its only U.S. airliner manufacturing operation with another expansion in Mobile,” said Ivey. “This growth is made possible by the company’s skilled workforce in Alabama and our commitment to developing a pipeline of future aerospace workers.”
Last week, Airbus announced plans to increase global production of A320 Family jets, including the addition of the new 350,000-square-foot final assembly line in Mobile.
C. Jeffrey Knittel, chairman and CEO of Airbus Americas, touted Alabama’s pro-business climate and said the state was home to a “world-class labor force.”
“The fact that Mobile will lead our unprecedented global production rate increase in coming years is a tribute to the world-class labor force in Alabama,” stated Knittel. “I’m so proud of our Mobile employees for proving through years of hard work what Alabama is capable of, and I’m also immensely grateful to state leadership for making Alabama such a great place to invest and do business.”
To date, Airbus has invested more than $1 billion in its Mobile manufacturing facility.
Ed Castile, director of Alabama Industrial Development Training (AIDT) and deputy secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce, announced a coordinated effort to create new recruitment and training initiatives to facilitate Airbus’ hiring plans.
“Airbus has been an extraordinary partner as we work together daily to help change people’s lives,” advised Castile. “Airbus provides incredible career opportunities, and we have the awesome opportunity to help them find their team and assist with training.”
According to Castile, AIDT plans to expand its 36,500-square-foot Aviation Training Center at the Mobile Aeroplex at Brookley.
“We see Airbus as the ‘tip of the spear’ with its Alabama location and its continued growth as a powerful catalyst for an expansion of the aerospace industry in our state,” added Castile. “This Airbus expansion simply highlights that Alabama is open for business and a great place to work and raise a family.”
Alabama Department of Commerce secretary Greg Canfield noted that the state’s aerospace and aviation industry holds a strong growth outlook.
In 2021, companies within the aerospace sector announced new investments totaling $220 million in projects which are expected to create 667 jobs, according to department data.
“Aerospace industry growth continues to be a high-value opportunity for Alabama, not only in terms of capital investment but also in job creation,” said Canfield. “There are a lot of exciting things going on in aerospace and aviation in the state, and we’re seeing that today with the expansion at Airbus.”
David Rodgers, vice president of economic development at the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce, asserted that Mobile is becoming an aerospace industry “global epicenter”
“Mobile is quickly becoming a global epicenter for the aerospace industry, and the addition of a third final assembly line in Mobile is a testament to our area’s workforce,” proclaimed Rodgers.
Dylan Smith is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @DylanSmithAL