Chamber of Commerce announces Blue Origin plans to come to the TN Valley

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - The Huntsville/Madison County Chamber of Commerce welcomed city, county, state and national lawmakers to the U.S. Space and Rocket Center's Davidson Center Monday morning for a big economic development announcement. Blue Origin has selected a site and made plans to build at Cummings Research Park.

(Image: Blue Origin)

The new 400,000 square foot facility could employ 350 people with an average salary of $75,000.

The Huntsville location will be used to build the BE-4 rocket engine, which would be used on the New Glenn rocket booster.

However, building the facility in Huntsville remains, for the moment, contingent on winning a contract with ULA to put the BE-4 on the Vulcan rocket.

State and local incentive packages for Blue Origin are still to be determined. City and county governments will have to vote on them next month.

As Blue Origin made its announcement, the Rocket City is celebrating its position has a center of excellence in propulsion. Leaders believe this announcement and the possibility it brings, makes the area more competitive for recruiting even more jobs, especially in the propulsion industry.

"With Blue Origin coming in, with other companies to come in, that solidifies us as a center of excellence for propulsion for the country and maybe by default for the world," said Mayor Tommy Battle.

Blue Origin leaders said the Tennessee Valley workforce was what sold them on this area.

Rob Meyerson, President of Blue Origin, noted "the highly skilled workforce, business climate, and leadership that we need to produce low cost rocket engines."