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Boeing to shift work to San Antonio Facilities

by admin on February 1, 2012

The Boeing Co. has announced plans to close its Wichita, Kan. defense plant by the end of 2013 and shift that work to facilities in San Antonio and Oklahoma City.

San Antonio Business Journal first reported on the possibility of this new Boeing work in last week’s newspaper.

Boeing says aircraft maintenance, modification and support work now performed in Wichita will be shifted to Boeing’s San Antonio site, while engineering work will move to Oklahoma City. Work on the U.S. Air Force tanker contract Boeing won in early 2011 will be done in Puget Sound, Wash.

The company’s Wichita facility has about 2,100 employees. Boeing says it will provide resources including retirement seminars, job search resources, and financial counseling to help employees find jobs either inside or outside the company.

The move will mean a major boost for Boeing’s operations in San Antonio that already employ 2,800 at Port San Antonio, the redeveloped Kelly Air Force Base. The plant has an annual economic impact of more than $500 million, according to a recent University of Texas at San Antonio study.

Wendy Parker, a spokeswoman for Boeing’s Alamo City operations, says the maintenance facility is ready to take on more work since it’s in the midst of a major push to diversify its workload to include non-military aircraft.

“San Antonio has been positioning itself to get any kind of additional work we can,” Parker says.

The San Antonio center took on two major commercial projects last year, the 787 Dreamliner passenger jet and the 747-8 freighter. Gov. Rick Perry signed a law ensuring lower taxes for the company by requiring aircraft manufactured in Texas be appraised at 10 percent of market value.

As a result of the commercial contracts, Boeing’s San Antonio employment increased by 55 percent this past year — from 1,800 in 2010 to 2,800 in 2011. About 30 percent of the hires were contract workers, but the remainder were permanent additions to the Boeing payroll, Parker says.

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