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Boeing celebrates 60 years in Alabama; generated $2.7B in economic impact in ’21

HUNTSVILLE — The Rocket City is the economic engine of North Alabama and a major aerospace company helps boost that engine.

Boeing, celebrating 60 years in Alabama, generates more than $2.7 billion in annual economic activity for the state, according to a study commissioned by Boeing and conducted by the University of Alabama’s Culverhouse College of Commerce and Business Administration.

Boeing joined community leaders at the Huntsville/Madison County Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday to recognize the defense and aerospace industry company’s 60th year of operation in Alabama.

With its 3,039 workers, Boeing is the largest aerospace employer in Alabama.

“For six decades, Alabama and Boeing have shared a partnership of innovation, growth and prosperity,” said Cindy Gruensfelder, vice president and general manager of Boeing’s Missile and Weapon Systems and Huntsville site senior executive. “This study helps to quantify the company’s significant impact on the state’s economy.

“Looking forward, we are committed to the continued success of our customers, the economic health of the state and contributing to the overall quality of life in the communities where we live and work.”

Lucia Cape, senior vice president of Economic Development at the chamber, cited Boeing for supporting charitable initiatives in the area.

“Boeing has been an exemplary community partner and is a model for supporting so many of our education and workforce programs over their six decades in Huntsville,” she said. “Today, we are especially grateful to Boeing for their support of our pilot program with Hiring Our Heroes that will help enlisted service members transition into manufacturing careers in the Huntsville area.

“We believe this will grow into a workforce solution for the whole region.”

The study’s findings provide a glimpse into the role Boeing plays in Alabama’s aerospace and defense industry, as well as developing a skilled workforce.

Of Boeing’s $2.731 billion in 2021 economic output, $663.2 million stemmed from earnings for 9,402 direct and indirect jobs.

The same year, $61.5 million in tax receipts were generated from the company, including $35 million in state and $26.5 million in local taxes.

The following is a breakdown of tax revenue provided by the company:

  • State individual income tax: $21.8 million
  • State sales tax: $11.4 million
  • State property tax: $1.8 million
  • County and municipal sales tax: $14.2 million
  • County and municipal property tax: $12.3 million

The study also shows that Boeing made in-state, non-payroll purchases and expenditures of $979.1 million, which brought the company’s total in-state expenditure to nearly $1.3 billion.

Boeing made $2.9 million worth of business contributions and charitable grants in 2021.

During Tuesday’s press conference, Boeing announced it had awarded $60,000 grants each to the Boys and Girls Club’s STEM programs and the Huntsville/Madison County Chamber Foundation’s Hiring Our Heroes program.

RELATED: Boeing awards $75K grant to Centerstone’s Military Services supporting free Alabama active duty, veterans’ mental health

Boeing’s initial operations in Alabama launched with implementing plans to advance the initial development of the Saturn V rocket’s Stage 1 booster.

The company’s Alabama workforce is proving instrumental in developing the core stages, upper stages and avionics for the Space Launch System, which is the most powerful rocket ever developed.

RELATED: Huntsville plays role in Boeing landing recognition for support of International Space Station

Alongside space exploration, Boeing’s Alabama operations are taking a leading role in U.S. missile defense programs.

Headquartered in the Rocket City, Boeing’s Missile and Weapons Systems division includes crucial work on multiple programs which defend the homeland and U.S. allies from intercontinental ballistic missiles and adversarial foreign aircraft.

Mayor Tommy Battle closed Tuesday’s presentation by thanking Boeing for its impact on the Huntsville area.

(Courtesy of Yellowhammer News)

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