HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – The threat of a strike in Washington state could lead to Huntsville landing a major Boeing contract and potentially thousands of jobs.
Mayor Tommy battle confirmed Tuesday that Huntsville is one of several cities in the running to produce Boeing’s next generation 777X jetliner.
The International Association of Machinists recently rejected an 8-year labor contract extension that would have assured the 777X jet would be made in Washington state.
Now, Boeing is looking for a new home to build the 777X.
Governor Robert Bentley, Huntsville mayor Tommy Battle, & Madison County Commission Chair Dale Strong met with Boeing executives in Birmingham, in an effort to become the city to produce the jetliner.
Our news partners at Al.com spoke with Bentley about the pitch.
“We do believe in Alabama we offer something very special, especially in Huntsville,” said Bentley. “They don’t need to look at any other states. Alabama is the state they need to look at the most.”
But the competition for the 777x jetliner is fierce.
Huntsville is in the running with several other cities, including Charleston, South Carolina, where Boeing’s 787 dreamliner is made. Long Beach, CA, is also on the list.
Aside from a highly qualified workforce, Battle and Bentley touted Huntsville other offerings, like the cost of living, and Boeing’s own history in the Rocket City.
“Boeing has been in Alabama over 50 years so they are very familiar with the airport there, they own land there,” said Bentley.
Boeing owns 300 acres of land at Huntsville International Airport, that Bentley says would easily accommodate the 1 million square feet of production space needed to build the next generation jet.
Our news partners at Al.com report, while there aren’t any official numbers, Mayor Battle has estimated the economic impact of this deal would be comparable to the last BRAC, which brought 4800 jobs to Huntsville.
Boeing executives are expected to make a decision within the next 3 months.