Airbus plant could mean jobs for South Mississippians

MOBILE, AL (WLOX) - In three years, Airbus will be making commercial passenger jets just across the state line in Alabama. It's a true economic success story that will produce benefits that will have no boundaries.

A little jazz, and some southern hospitality made for the perfect backdrop for Monday's ceremony. The dirt was turned and the praises flowed.

"This facility that's coming here is going to benefit our entire region. Thousands of people will be employed during the time of construction," said Governor of Alabama Robert Bentley.

The word groundbreaking was used several times during the ceremony. Providing groundbreaking economic impact for the entire region was something that was stressed by almost every speaker, including Mobile Mayor Sam Jones.

"It's not just at Brookley Aeroplex. This is the entire region. And that will, in our opinion, change the way we are as a community for many, many years to come," the Mayor said.

Because the plant is coming here, so will jobs. Mississippi Congressman Steven Palazzo was at the event.

"Anywhere from 1,500 to 2,500 construction jobs, and the long term impact is going to be 1,000 permanent jobs," Palazzo said. "I'm hearing the term 30 to 40 percent of the labor that's going to be necessary in Mobile County is going to come from Mississippi so it's going to be a huge regional economic boost for Florida, Alabama, and the State of Mississippi."

The impact could be far reaching, according to Clay Jones, the CEO of Rockwell Collins, a company that does business with Airbus.

"Well, the whole region I think will benefit from the economic development that comes from a major aerospace manufacturer. That's been the rule actually around the world," Jones said

Airbus and the central Gulf Coast are a perfect fit in most everyone's eyes.

"Because of the history that all of us along the Gulf Coast share together, we knew that Airbus was exactly the type of partner that we wanted on the Gulf Coast," Florida Congressman Jeff Miller exclaimed.

That want will soon become a reality.

The Airbus plant should be completed in about two years, and producing up to four, 150 passenger A320 jets a month by 2016. The company has several billion dollars in contracts with airline companies across the globe.

This is the first time the French based company has built a production plant in the U.S.

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