MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - The Airbus groundbreaking was held Monday, April 8. The pomp and circumstance are over, and the hard work is getting underway.
FOX10 wanted to know - have local companies gotten a crack at taking part in the construction process? Will jobs go to local people? How can you apply for one?
"THE SUN WILL NEVER SET ON AIRBUS"
One of the most remembered statements made at the Airbus groundbreaking at Brookley Aeroplex came from Airbus President and CEO Fabrice Bregier.
"If you allow me not to be too humble, thanks to Mobile, the sun will never set on Airbus," he said.
Thanks to Airbus, the hope is many people in Mobile will have jobs, and Mobile will grow.
THE FIRST BIG HIRE
Once Airbus announced it was officially coming to Mobile, the pace started.
Airbus selected an Alabama-based company, Hoar Program Management, to be responsible for all aspects of the assembly line's construction. The company's president for program management, Mike Lanier, set the tone for the future.
"It's important to Airbus, and it's important to us, that we try and use as many Mobile, and if not, Mobile-based than Alabama-based firms on this project, because it's an Alabama project," he said.
MORE HIRES FOLLOW
Of the first five firms Hoar chose to work with, four have offices in Mobile.
Hatch Mott MacDonald will manage aviation and engineering design.
"I'm not sure we'll be hiring anymore, specifically, for this project, but Hatch Mott is a large company and we always have opportunities. So there's always a need for personnel, so we're always in a hiring mode," the company's vice president, Kendall Kilpatrick, said.
Next, Hoar announced it was bringing on three more Mobile-based companies: Gulf States Engineering, Southern Earth Sciences, and Hargrove Engineers and Constructors.
"We'll look into things and as the opportunities grow, hey, we're always looking for talented people here at Hargrove - always," said Hargrove's Mobile Operations Leader Perkins Fendley.
HEAVY CONSTRUCTION, BUT ANY OPEN JOBS?
Hosea Weaver and Sons of Mobile has already hit the ground rolling - building access roads and getting the site ready for contractors.
However, company officials said they've seen the effects of the economy.
"People see this and they want to know, 'Are you going to hire new people?' We may end up hiring new people. Right now, this is probably keeping some guys busy. It we didn't have this, we'd be having to make some difficult decisions as far as current employees," Ken Donoghue, assistant project manager with Hosea Weaver and Sons, said.
Each company said it's accepting applications online on its websites.
WORKING FOR AIRBUS
All hires for Airbus itself, professional and hourly, go through AIDT, a division of the Alabama Department of Commerce.
They are posted on the AIDT website.
FOX10 News asked if AIDT was accepting applications for jobs that weren't posted.
"No. Only the jobs that come up at that time will be posted. (For) most of the hourly jobs, it will probably be mid to late summer before those begin to be posted," Lee Hammett, AIDT's assistant director, said.
WILL ONLY LOCAL PEOPLE BE HIRED?
No one is promising that the companies will only hire local people.
Lanier said, "There are some unique things, skill sets, that we're going to need out-of-town firms from time to time."
GOOD REASON TO LOOK FOR MOBILE PEOPLE
However, the people involved in the hiring said there is good reason to look locally.
FOX10 News asked Hosea Weaver and Sons if and when the company is ready to hire, would it would hire people from Mobile?
"Yes, absolutely, and I believe its really hard for a company the size of Airbus, a true global corporation, to think on a local level, but, local is very important to Airbus," Donoghue said.
Fendley said, "What we fully appreciate is what Airbus has done. They've kept their promises, and are hiring qualified firms here in the local Mobile area."
WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD?
"You can expect more announcements. I can't predict if they're going to all include Alabama firms or not, but that's certainly something we're trying to make sure happens," Lanier said.
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