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Mobile County Commission Approves Airbus Expansion Incentive Package

Posted on: Jun 12th, 2023 | News and AnnouncementsPress Releasesfeatured news

MOBILE COUNTY, Ala. – The Mobile County Commission approved an Airbus expansion project incentive package of $10 million at its regular meeting on June 12. This investment is expected to yield 1,000 new jobs for local residents over the next 10 years, boost Airbus’ capital infrastructure outlay to roughly $1 billion at the Brookley Aeroplex, and solidify Mobile’s position as the fourth-largest commercial aerospace manufacturing site in the world.

 

Per the agreement, the Mobile County Commission will appropriate $1 million each year for 10 years to Airbus. The City of Mobile approved a similar agreement on May 30, 2023.

 

The agreement between Mobile County Commission, City of Mobile and Airbus stipulates that the average minimum hourly wage for these new jobs is $31.25 per hour. At that rate, these positions pay approximately $15,000 more per year than the Census-indicated 2021 median household income for Mobile County ($51,169). Further, the agreement was designed to benefit Mobile County residents, requires Mobile Chamber’s Mobile First Initiative reporting, and specifies:

  • Airbus must invest $2.5 million of Mobile County’s incentive package toward apprenticeship, and/or training programs to benefit local students, newly graduated students, and adults with little to no formal skills or training.
  • Airbus must pay back the Mobile County cash incentives if it does not meet its hiring target thresholds at specified intervals, with a total employee count of more than 2,100 by the end of 2029.

This expansion to create a second A320 assembly line creates Airbus’ third assembly line at Brookley Aeroplex. Airbus currently employs about 1,100 people and has produced more than 350 aircraft in Mobile since its first final assembly line became operational in 2015 and its first plane was delivered in 2016.

 

Commission President Connie Hudson, who represents District 2 said: “The growth of Airbus at Brookley Aeroplex in Mobile has had a ripple effect throughout our local economy, not only contributing to the region's manufacturing sector but also stimulating other sectors such as logistics, hospitality, retail, and professional services. The increased economic activity generates tax revenue for the county, supports small businesses, and fosters prosperity of Mobile County, the region and our state. With a strong backlog of aircraft orders, growing demand for Airbus’ aircraft and increasing production rates, the Mobile County Commission looks forward to many years of local benefits from the A320 assembly line expansion this incentive package supports.”

 

Airbus has engaged in innovative and dynamic workforce development strategies since its 2013 groundbreaking in Mobile. For example, to meet its workforce demands, Airbus has partnered with Bishop State Community College and local high schools on Aviation Manufacturing Technology pre-apprenticeship programs like Flight Path 9. The Mobile County Commission supported these programs through infrastructure investment at Bishop State.  Local colleges and universities have increased their aerospace-related degree options as well.

 

“This incentive package is solidly focused on improving circumstances for all types of workers: young people seeking careers in this sector and adults who need access to skills training and other preparation programs to enable them to acquire high-paying permanent positions,” said District 1 Commissioner Merceria Ludgood.  “Overall, the presence of Airbus and its suppliers has been a major contributor to the economic development of Mobile County. A vibrant ecosystem of businesses, workers, services, and workforce development now supports a thriving aerospace industry right here at home,” she added.

 

District 3 Commissioner Randall Dueitt said: “It’s extremely important to me that this incentive package benefit the people of Mobile County through jobs and job training. By obligating Airbus to essentially double its local workforce by 2030 and to continue to invest in training for local residents, Mobile County Commission expects significant economic development impacts in the lives of individuals and families as more high-quality local job opportunities become available for our residents. Airbus has strengthened our local economy, attracted more business and investment to our region, and has done a good job developing pre-employment training programs. Mobile County Commission has played a role in this exciting growth and look forward to continuing to support initiatives that benefit our community, residents, and local businesses."

 

Mobile is one of only five cities worldwide where Airbus assembles its commercial aircraft. Globally, Airbus sells its aircraft to a wide range of customers worldwide, including airlines, leasing companies, corporate jet operators, and government organizations. Planes produced in Mobile are primarily for Airbus customers in the Americas. Airbus recently celebrated the delivery of Delta Airlines’ 100th plane assembled in Mobile. Once fully operational, the new A320 final assembly line in Mobile will help Airbus meet its global goal of 75 planes per month.

 

Since Airbus committed to assembling aircraft in Mobile over a decade ago, 22 Airbus suppliers have relocated to Mobile County, according to the Mobile Chamber.

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