New $1.8 billion Boeing defense project to bring 500 jobs, construction work to St. Louis

NEW JOBS – The Boeing Co. has announced a nearly $2 billion construction project designed to support new aerospace programs at its North St. Louis County complex. It’s expected to bring 500 jobs to the region as well as months, if not years, of construction work.

Missouri Correspondent

The Boeing Co. has announced a $1.8 billion construction project designed to support new aerospace programs at its North St. Louis County complex. It’s expected to bring 500 jobs to the region and years of local construction work.

If approved, it would be one of the biggest defense projects in the region’s history topping the more than the $1.7 billion budget for the new National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) headquarters in north St. Louis, which is currently under construction.

“This would be a huge win for the St. Louis building trades,” said John Stiffler, secretary-treasurer of the St. Louis Building & Construction Trades Council. “To think we have this much working coming up after the NGA project is amazing, especially since it wasn’t even on the horizon until a month ago. Plus, we learned that the job would be awarded to a St. Louis general contractor ensuring good union jobs.”

Pat White, president of the St. Louis Labor Council, echoed Stiffler’s enthusiasm about the project.

“As one of the region’s largest employers with great paying union jobs, we are always happy to see companies expand their footprint,” White said. “We have always worked well with the management group there and hope to continue that trend going forward. Anything that enhances our members and the community in the way of jobs and building is always a plus for all everyone.”

Boeing plans to construct multiple buildings and lease space totaling a million square feet at two sites adjacent to St. Louis Lambert International Airport, according to a tax incentive request from St. Louis County Executive Sam Page to the St. Louis County Council. It would also support the roughly 16,000 current Boeing employees in the St. Louis region.

“This project will reinforce our dominance as a region that builds the future of aviation, creates pathways to exciting careers and showcases the pride and talent of St. Louis County,” Page said a news release.

If approved by the council, the tax incentive deal would give Boeing half off on the project’s real and personal property taxes over 10 years in exchange for new jobs and investment.

The council was first introduced to the proposal at its July 25 meeting. While most were supportive, some council members requested additional information before proceeding. The council could make a decision on the plan later this month.

Boeing’s new proposal follows the company’s announcement in May that it was expanding its secretive research and prototype unit, “Phantom Works,” according to an article in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. This as the aerospace industry ramps up for a national competition to build the next generation of U.S. fighter jets.

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