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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — This year, Boeing is celebrating 60 years of operation in Alabama. The company first added an office in Huntsville in 1962.

Since then, Boeing in Huntsville has worked on the Saturn V rocket, moon missions, the International Space Station, Ground-based Midcourse Defense, the Space Launch System, and many other projects.

At a celebration and announcement at the Huntsville-Madison Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday, Huntsville Site Leader, Ramon Sanchez, said “for six decades Alabama and Boeing have shared a partnership of innovation, growth, and prosperity.”

Sanchez said, “we cut our teeth sixty years ago supporting the NASA Saturn V space industry, and we continue to perform and be a huge player in the space race for the U.S. and the nation.”

At the event, the results were shared from a recent economic impact study conducted by the University of Alabama for Boeing.

The study was based on data from 2021. That year, the company employed 2,929 people in Alabama.

The company now employs approximately 3,000 employees in the state.

Samuel Addy, a Senior Research Economist and Associate Dean of Economic Development at the University of Alabama, shared that in Alabama, Boeing’s total payroll is around $302 million. Addy said that puts the average salary for workers at $103,000.

That’s more than double the statewide average of $51,000.

The findings from the study show the role Boeing has played to grow the space industry and the workforce in Alabama.

  • Boeing’s economic output in 2021 was $2.731 billion of which $663.2 million represents earnings for over 9,000 direct and indirect jobs
  • The same year, earnings generated over $60 million in tax revenue, including $35 million in state and $26.5 million in local taxes. The state’s revenues included $21.8 million individual income tax, $11.4 million sales tax, and $1.8 million property tax.
  • The company also made in-state, non-payroll purchases and expenditures of $979.1 million bringing the company’s total in-state expenditure to approximately $1.3 billion.
  • In addition to the significant economic impact Boeing provides to Alabama, the company also contributes significantly to the community and workforce development in the state, including $2.9 million in business contributions and charitable grants in 2021.

Addy said Boeing’s impact is helping bring other large industries to Huntsville.

“Other businesses look at the success of other businesses to actually come to an area,” he said.

Mayor Tommy Battle also spoke at the event.

“Boeing’s success is the city of Huntsville’s success and has been our whole area’s success,” he said. “As they’ve (Boeing) grown over the last 60 years, they have made the Rocket City grow.”

Part of the 60th year celebration included the announcement of two $60,000 grants.

Those grants were given to the Boys and Girls Club of North Alabama’s STEM program and the Huntsville-Madison County Chamber Foundation’s Hiring Our Heroes program.