OKLAHOMA CITY – Boeing celebrated the groundbreaking of a new $80 million facility Wednesday.
It also announced a division headquarters will move from St. Louis to Oklahoma City.
“We’re proud to announce today that we will be moving the headquarters for our aircraft, modernization, and sustainment business, led by Scott Strode, here to Oklahoma City,” Leanne Caret, president for Global Services & Support Defense, Space & Security, said.
It was a surprise announcement on Wednesday while Boeing broke ground on an $80 million, 290,000 square-foot facility.
“It’s all about creating a city where people want to live and [we’re] trying to continue to work at it and draw positive attention with major employers like Boeing,” Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett said.
The aerospace industry brings in 120,000 employees to the state, according to Governor Fallin.
Gov. Mary Fallin credits tax breaks for helping with the expansion of Boeing to Oklahoma City.
“One of the factors that Boeing told me was important to move employees from other states to Oklahoma is our aerospace engineers’ tax credit,” Fallin said. “That families find that attractive and we’re one of very few states that have a tax credit.”
New legislation passed last year was designed to attract engineers or keep engineering graduates in Oklahoma.
The engineers themselves get a $5,000 tax break under this new law.
And the companies that hire them get a tax credit as well.
“Keep our taxes low, but a very business friendly climate. We’re so very grateful Boeing has decided to even further expand their jobs in our state,” Gov. Fallin said.
Another incentive is $6 million from Oklahoma City to help build the multi-million dollar facility.
What was once just 10 employees is now a growing to cater to Tinker Air Force Base.
“We believe the closer that we are to our customers, the more ability we have to not only work with them in a proactive fashion, but also work alongside them in partnership as we move to the future,” Caret said.
The new building is expected to open next summer.