Aerospace giant Boeing shows $2.7 billion annual economic impact on Alabama

Celebrating its 60th year in Huntsville, Boeing showcases projects from the Saturn V rocket to moon missions

Boeing’s Starliner tested successfully last month. Photo from Boeing.

As it celebrates 60 years in Huntsville, Boeing Co. honored its history here, made donations to two local nonprofits and announced that its annual economic impact on Alabama totals $2.7 billion.

The aerospace powerhouse commissioned a study by the University of Alabama Culverhouse College of Commerce and Business Administration, which calculated the $2.7 billion figure for 2021.

Just over $663 million of the total comes from wages paid for more than 9,400 direct and indirect jobs.

Boeing itself has 3,039 employees, making it the largest aerospace company in the state, which boasts a stellar array for aerospace and defense firms.

The company traces its Alabama roots to the Saturn V rocket project, through an array of moon missions and into projects that develop “systems that protect the U.S. homeland and its allies,” Boeing said in releasing the study results. Boeing is also leading development of core stages, upper stages and avionics for NASA’s Space Launch System, designed to take humans beyond the moon.

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“For six decades, Alabama and Boeing have shared a partnership of innovation, growth and prosperity,” said Cindy Gruensfelder, vice president and general manager for Boeing Missile and Weapons Systems and the senior site executive in Huntsville. “Today, more than 3,000 Boeing Alabama employees, and thousands more in supplier companies across the state, help create the world’s most advanced defense and aerospace products. This study helps to quantify the company’s significant impact on the state’s economy. Looking forward, we are committed to the continued success of our customers, the economic health of the state and contributing to the overall quality of life in the communities where we live and work.”

Beyond salaries paid, Boeing’s impact comes through $61.5 million in tax revenue, $35 million in state and $26.5 in local taxes. Non-payroll, non-tax expenditures totaled $979.1 million, the report calculated.

In addition, Boeing provided some $2.9 million in business contributions and charitable grants during 2021.

To celebtate its anniversary, the company donated $60,000 each to the Boys and Girls Club’s STEM programs and to the Huntsville/Madison County Chamber’s Hiring Our Heroes program.

“Boeing has been an exemplary community partner and is a model for supporting so many of our education and workforce programs over their six decades in Huntsville,” said Lucia Cape, senior VP of economic development at the Huntsville/Madison County Chamber. “Today, we are especially grateful to Boeing for their support of our pilot program with Hiring Our Heroes that will help enlisted service members transition into manufacturing careers in the Huntsville area. We believe this will grow into a workforce solution for the whole region.”

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