ST. LOUIS (KTVI) – The Boeing company is broadening its St. Louis production work to include commercial plane parts, as well as military fighter jets and missiles.
The firm held a ribbon-cutting Thursday for its new composite production facility on the campus north of Lambert-St. Louis International Airport.
As many as 700 engineers, production workers, and support personnel will be employed at the one building.
Governor Jay Nixon praised the company for its high quality work and the decision to add commercial aviation production to the St. Louis campus. Under Missouri's Quality Jobs program, Boeing will receive some tax breaks as it invest in the new operation.
The facility will use carbon fiber material cured under high temperatures to produce parts that once would have been made from metal.
Two giant autoclaves or ovens are already in the building. Boeing plans to add two more. Nixon said that level of investment means the company is going to keep its operations in Missouri. The facility may also be used to produce parts for future military jets.
Workers in another building will assemble the wing parts before they are sent by truck to Everett, Washington where the 777X jetliners are completed.
Boeing also has an agreement with Saint Louis Community College to train workers in the skills needed on the composite production line.