> Boeing adding up to 400 engineering jobs at a new research center in Huntsville.
Airbus Americas Chairman Allan McArtor told the Montgomery Advertiser.
> Lockheed Martin’s new, $3.9 billion missile contract and an expected 100 additional employees at the company’s facility in Troy.
Aerospace is one of the areas “for advancing our economy and making life better for people,” Addy said. The state’s economic development program – Accelerate Alabama – focuses on advanced manufacturing, technology, logistics and distribution and corporate headquarters.
> A new GE Aviation factory in Auburn that will have up to 400 employees by 2020. > The new $600 million Airbus facility in Mobile with up 1,000 employees at the firm’s final assembly plant for the A320 planes. Delivery will begin in 2016 and it is expected that it would produce 40 to 50 planes a year. Addy said that the aerospace industry “pays very well” and indeed it does. “That manufacturing component pays better than manufacturing in general – so aerospace is a good target,” Addy said. It pays an average of $1,500 a week while the average weekly pay for manufacturing is $969. The average annual pay difference in the aerospace industry compared with all industries has more than doubled from 2001 to 2012. Montgomery is “probably the most logical, closest and most capable community” outside of Mobile to land Airbus suppliers,
Those jobs require highly skilled workers and Addy said that Alabama is moving in the right direction. He praised Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley for creating the College and Career Ready Task Force. “If you want to increase our income all we have to do is address education,” Addy said. He said that higher educational attainment leads to higher salaries. He said there is no economic development without education. “The elephant in the room is very clear – we have to address education and its funding,” Addy said. “You cannot address education funding without talking about taxes and tax reform in this state.” He said that every study has concluded the same thing about the tax structure: it is inadequate, inefficient and unfair.
Addy warned that the state will be facing labor shortages – 113,000 in 2020 and 307,000 in 2030, according to projections, but there is an available labor pool of 600,000-plus who are underemployed or unemployed. “There is great job growth potential in this state,” Addy said. “We have a lot of available labor. That’s why I am so gung-ho about Alabama’s chances. “We do have work force potential and many educational programs – we are doing well.” The top issues facing companies, according to a poll conducted by the Center for Business and Economic Research are: > Government – uncertainty, taxes and regulations. > Company finances and development – customer concerns, cash flow, credit availability, profitability, business opportunities and competition. > Economy – demand, consumer confidence, housing market and economic growth > Health care – cost and Affordable Care Act. > Work force – Lack of skilled labor and employment development. •
March 2014 Montgomery Business Journal