Boeing, the world’s leading aerospace company and the largest manufacturer of commercial jetliners, will be closing its decades-old Defense, Space and Security plant in Wichita, Kansas, by the end of 2013. This closure will bring more than 800 jobs to the metro area for aerospace engineers with the remaining jobs going to San Antonio.
This announcement could more than double Boeing’s workforce in the coming months.
In addition to building commercial jetliners and military aircraft, they design and manufacture satellites, launch vehicles, rotorcraft, electronic and defense systems, advanced information and communication systems.
Roy Williams, CEO and President of the Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce, said this move will open the door for many.
“There will definitely be positions at the top,” Williams said, “but Boeing will have a multitude of positions and wants to tap into the talent market in Oklahoma City. They have had a good experience so far.
Williams said the hiring process hasn’t yet started.
“Maybe within the next six months we should see something,” he said. “I would say the best way to get the latest updates would be (for students) to go to Boeing.com.”
Williams said early last year Boeing closed a production facility in Long Beach, Calif., and moved it to Oklahoma City, producing more than 550 software engineering positions.
“Approximately 200 of those were filled with employees that relocated and more were hired from different areas,” he said.
This project is still in the works, Williams said.
“The office space is not yet completed,” he said.
The company is building a six-story building next to its current location at SE 59th and Air Depot Blvd.
Boeing is headquartered in Chicago and boasts a workforce of more than 165,000 people in the U.S. and in more than 70 other countries. The employees are a diverse group of talented, well-educated and innovative individuals, according to www.boeing.com.
More than 123,000 hold a college degree and of those, approximately 32,000 have advanced degrees in virtually every technical and business field. Boeing is a major service provider for NASA operating the Space Shuttle and International Space Station. They are one of the largest U.S. exporters in terms of sales. according to www.boeing.com.
The company is expected to apply for the state’s Quality Jobs program and for grants from Oklahoma City’s General Obligation Limited Tax fund, according to an article published on Jan. 5 in The Oklahoman.
Boeing was awarded a $1.5 million grant from the city late last year as it moved forward with the first phase of the two-part relocation plan of 550 jobs from California, according to a article published on Jan. 5 in The Oklahoman.
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