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December 3, 2022

Airbus expanding in Alabama, adding 1,000 jobs

The space industry is expanding in Alabama, Gov. Kay Ivey said.

The governor was in Mobile on Monday afternoon to announce Airbus is adding to its aerospace manufacturing facility and will create more than 1,000 new jobs in the coming years. The company is planning to add a third production and final assembly line at the facility as it plans to increase production on its A320 family of single-aisle passenger aircraft.

“It’s wonderful to see Airbus continue to grow its only U.S. airliner manufacturing operation with another expansion in Mobile,” the Republican governor said in a release. “This growth is made possible by the company’s skilled workforce in Alabama and our commitment to developing a pipeline of future aerospace workers.”

Airbus already employs 1,200 at the Mobile production facility, according to the release.

The announcement comes just one week after the aerospace company said it plans to increase global production on the jets, which features the new 350,000 square-foot production line addition in Mobile as part of its plan.

“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,” C. Jeffrey Knittel, chairman and CEO of Airbus Americas, said in the release. “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.”

According to the release, the state is focusing workforce development and education efforts to work on recruitment and training initiatives to construct a pipeline for jobs, said Ed Castile, director of AIDT who also serves as secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce.

“Airbus has been an extraordinary partner as we work together daily to help change people’s lives,” Castile said in the release. “Airbus provides incredible career opportunities, and we have the awesome opportunity to help them find their team and assist with training.”

According to the release, AIDT said it will widen its Aviation Training Center, which is located in Mobile at the Aeroplex at Brookley. The 36,500 square-foot facility, which opened in 2014, will aid Airbus production in place, Castile said.

The organization plans to increase apprenticeship programs to support the company’s training programs at Flight Works Alabama. Focused projects include FlightPath9 and We Build It Better. Dual enrollment will be accepted at area schools, according to the release.

Flight Works Alabama, which is located near the production facility, provides education in aerospace with a goal of drawing in future aviation workers to the 15,000 square-foot facility, the release says.

The facility targets high school seniors to provide information for those students who want to work in the industry, according to the release. The We Build It Better focuses on providing classroom kits and interactive programs that will help teachers to expand creative capacity in students.

Airbus, according to the release, began production of the A320 aircraft in 2015 and launched production for the A220 single-aisle passenger jets in 2019. A new production line for the aircraft also opened that year.

The company has invested more than $1 billion into the plant, the release said.

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