The new plant, known as Boeing St. Clair, has begun assembly work on the F/A-18 program and will also begin some additional assembly and sub-assembly work on the C-17 Globemaster III and CH-47 Chinook programs over the next several months, according to a Boeing press release.
St. Clair County executive Mark Kern calls the announcement great news. In addition to providing high-paying jobs, Kern says the new plant also makes the area attractive for foreign cargo.
"Having a name like Boeing associated with Mid America is certainly going to be valuable to us in our hunt for international product. Create these kind of jobs here for our people, and export those goods to other countries." - Mark Kern
Boeing St. Clair site leader Don Anderson says the process of getting the plant up and running has been rewarding.
"We don't start very many new facilities, so just being new is exciting, helping to shape it from the very beginning." - Don Anderson
About 15 employees from other Boeing sites are currently making parts for the F/A-18 fighter jet. The company plans to hire 25 new employees within the next three months and the plant will eventually employ 75 people.
Anderson also said that the aircraft produced at St. Clair are part of Boeing's long-term plans.