Alabama is a state on the move in the dynamic aerospace industry. Investment in the sector over the past five years has topped $1.5 billion. Exports of Alabama-made aerospace products and parts are surging. Employment is projected to spike.
To make sure that growth continues, Alabama is sending a team of business recruiters, government leaders and university representatives to next week’s Paris Air Show.
A new video, created for Made in Alabama for use at the air show, highlights the strengths of the state’s aerospace sector. The video will be on display at the Made in Alabama booth, the state team’s base for the industry’s premiere 2017 trade show.
“Securing aerospace work and jobs is a global competition, and the Paris Air Show provides us with an opportunity to talk about Alabama’s strengths in aerospace with the major players in the sector,” said Greg Canfield, secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce.
“Our advantages include a trained workforce, deep capabilities in research and engineering, expertise in advanced materials, and experience with game-changing new technologies including 3-D printing.”
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Secretary Canfield said companies in Alabama are involved in practically every activity in the sector, from passenger jet assembly, component fabrication, aircraft maintenance and repair, rocket and missile development, raw material production, engineering, research, aviation flight training, and more.
Alabama is also home to many of the biggest names in the business — Boeing, Airbus, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Northrop Grumman, Safran, UTC Aerospace, GKN, and GE Aviation.
Last year alone, aerospace companies announced projects involving more than $242 million in new capital investment and 1,500 anticipated jobs. Since 2011, more than $1.5 billion in new investment has flowed into the Alabama aerospace sector.
Alabama’s economic development team at the Paris Air Show is working to make sure more companies are on the way.
Other positive trends:
- More than 12,500 people now work in aerospace manufacturing in Alabama, with the number of jobs expected to increase by 36 percent between 2014 and 2014, according to government projections.
- The number of aerospace engineers in Alabama has risen to 4,470, fourth highest among the states in a survey by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. That survey showed that Alabama had the highest concentration of aerospace engineers based on population. Huntsville, with 3,930 aerospace engineers, ranked No. 1 among cities in the survey.
- Exports of Alabama-made aerospace products and parts topped $1.4 billion in 2016, an increase of 165 percent since 2014, according to Commerce Department figures.