MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - The sign says it all. There is a new address in Mobile and it's 320 Airbus Way.
Monday, April 8, 2013 dignitaries from around the world were in Mobile for the historic groundbreaking ceremony for the new Airbus facility at Brookley Aeroplex.
The groundbreaking ceremony signaled the start of construction on the new $600 million factory, which will create thousands of jobs. Airbus has said it wants to hire as many local people as possible.
The two-year construction phase is estimated to create 2,500 jobs, another 1,000 permanent jobs will be created when the plant becomes operational in 2015.
A ribbon cutting ceremony was also held Monday morning for the state's first major Airbus supplier, Labinal Engineering. It is a subsidiary of Safran Engineering Services.It truly was an historic day in Mobile.
Airbus officials joined local government leaders in breaking ground for the new Airbus aircraft manufacturing facility Monday.
"People who never disappointed us"
The ceremony included the ceremonial turning over of a dirt with shovels, but there was more.
Airbus officials tried to make the ceremony about Mobile, its people, and their importance to the company.
Tom Enders, the President and CEO of EADS, the parent company of Airbus, said, "Business cases are important, but the confidence in people, people who never disappointed us, always kept their commitments for all these eight years, that was crucially important in our decision a year ago."
Enders also cited strong support from the Mobile community.
He said, "As somebody who has seen a lot of communities all over the world, where we are present, I can say the support we've been getting over here in these eight years, is second to none."
CEO: "The sun will never set on Airbus"
Fabrice Bregier, the President and CEO of Airbus, said, "If you allow me not to be too humble, thanks to Mobile, the sun will never set on Airbus."
Bregier also offered a look ahead.
He said, "It has taken some time, but there is now the momentum, and in about two years, we will start assembling the first U.S. made aircraft here in Mobile, and there are only four places in the world doing that."
"Helping real people"
Governor Robert Bentley wanted to put a human face on what the Airbus facility would mean to Mobile and Alabama.
Bentley said, "Job creation isn't just about building a plane or boosting our economy. When we talk about job creation, we're talking about helping real people."
Mayor Sam Jones talked of the confidence Airbus officials have in Mobile.
Jones said, "The character of this company, and the people in this company, is unparalleled, so we are very, very fortunate to have them here. We really want to welcome them, and thank you so much for the confidence you showed in our community."
But, two Mobile residents talked about the future.
The project superintendent for the company in charge of building the assembly plant spoke of growth.
Henry Hinojosa with Hoar Program Management said, "The presence of this assembly line will also result in an increase of the regions housing market, by between 600 and 700 homes. The people that will live in these homes will also require new schools and other community buildings."
And Victoria Corob, an 8th grade student Clark-Shaw Magnet School, said this facility might help her achieve what she called her sweet dreams of touching the sky.
Corob said, "Airbus's growth here means that, if I keep working hard, I can achieve my dreams, and might even be able to look forward to a future with an exciting and rewarding aerospace career, right here in Alabama."
Talker: Gov. Robert Bentley says the start of work marks a "great day for Alabama." When you look back on this day, five years from now, how do you think you'll remember today?
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