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Boeing celebrates 60 years in Alabama, generates $2.7B in annual economic impact

HUNTSVILLE — Tuesday, Boeing joined community leaders at the Huntsville/Madison County Chamber of Commerce to recognize the defense and aerospace industry juggernaut’s 60th year of operation in the Yellowhammer State.

According to a study commissioned by the company, Boeing generates more than $2.7 billion in annual economic activity for the state.

Presently employing 3,039 workers, Boeing is the largest aerospace company in Alabama.

Cindy Gruensfelder, vice president and general manager of Boeing’s Missile and Weapon Systems and Huntsville site senior executive, hailed the company’s longstanding partnership with the state.

“For six decades, Alabama and Boeing have shared a partnership of innovation, growth and prosperity,” noted Gruensfelder. “Today, more than 3,000 Boeing Alabama employees, and thousands more in supplier companies across the state, help create the world’s most advanced defense and aerospace products.’

She continued, “This study helps to quantify the company’s significant impact on the state’s economy. Looking forward, we are committed to the continued success of our customers, the economic health of the state and contributing to the overall quality of life in the communities where we live and work.”

The University of Alabama’s Culverhouse College of Commerce and Business Administration conducted a comprehensive analysis of Boeing’s economic impact across the state in 2021.

The study’s findings provide a glimpse into the vital role Boeing plays in expanding Alabama’s robust aerospace and defense industry, as well as developing a skilled workforce.

Of Boeing’s $2.731 billion in 2021 economic output, $663.2 million stemmed from earnings for 9,402 direct and indirect jobs.

The same year, $61.5 million in tax receipts were generated from the company, including $35 million in state and $26.5 million in local taxes.

The following is a breakdown of tax revenue provided by the company:

  • State individual income tax: $21.8 million
  • State sales tax: $11.4 million
  • State property tax: $1.8 million
  • County and municipal sales tax: $14.2 million
  • County and municipal property tax: $12.3 million

The study also shows that Boeing made in-state, non-payroll purchases and expenditures of $979.1 million, which brought the company’s total in-state expenditure to nearly $1.3 billion.

Displaying its commitment to corporate citizenship, Boeing expended $2.9 million worth of business contributions and charitable grants in 2021.

During Tuesday’s press conference outlining the company’s contributions, Boeing announced that it had awarded two $60,000 grants to the Boys and Girls Club’s STEM programs and the Huntsville/Madison County Chamber Foundation’s Hiring Our Heroes program.

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Lucia Cape, senior vice president of Economic Development at the Huntsville/Madison County Chamber, praised Boeing for its history of supporting charitable initiatives throughout North Alabama.

“Boeing has been an exemplary community partner and is a model for supporting so many of our education and workforce programs over their six decades in Huntsville,” proclaimed Cape. “Today, we are especially grateful to Boeing for their support of our pilot program with Hiring Our Heroes that will help enlisted service members transition into manufacturing careers in the Huntsville area. We believe this will grow into a workforce solution for the whole region.”

Boeing’s initial operations in Alabama launched with implementing plans to advance the initial development of the Saturn V rocket’s Stage 1 booster, which was critical in NASA’s Apollo moon exploration program.

The company’s Alabama workforce is currently proving instrumental in developing the core stages, upper stages and avionics for NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS), which is the powerful rocket ever developed.

RELATED: Huntsville plays role in Boeing landing recognition for support of International Space Station

Alongside space exploration, Boeing’s Alabama operations are taking a leading role in U.S. missile defense programs.

Headquartered in the Rocket City, Boeing’s Missile and Weapons Systems division includes crucial work on multiple programs which defend the homeland and U.S. allies from intercontinental ballistic missiles and adversarial foreign aircraft.

Mayor Tommy Battle closed Tuesday’s presentation by extending gratitude to Boeing for its impact on the Huntsville area.

Dylan Smith is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @DylanSmithAL