Boeing Begins High-Bay Facility Construction, Project Expects to Add 300 Engineering Jobs
By: The Greater Oklahoma City Chamber 2020 August POINT!
The Boeing Company started construction on a new high-bay addition at its Oklahoma City facility that will add new engineering positions in support of its B-52 modernization and sustainment efforts.
Designed by Oklahoma City-based Guernsey and being constructed by Alberici, the $20 million, 60,770- square-foot addition will include a wing and fuselage from a retired U.S. Air Force B-52 bomber, allowing the company’s engineers to utilize it for hands-on form, fit and function testing.
This project and others at Boeing will create openings for more than 300 engineers in 2020. This year, Boeing has hired 190 engineers to date.
“The high-bay addition will enable our talented engineers to do prototyping with a B-52, as well as real-time collaboration with our U.S. Air Force customer,” said Nancy Anderson, Boeing vice president of aircraft modernization and modification. “It’s the best of both worlds. We have models and we can now get access to an airplane.”
Boeing’s B-52 modernization and sustainment efforts include the Commercial Engine Replacement Program, which is focused on replacing the B-52’s eight engines with engines that provide economic, operational and environmental benefits, and the Radar Modernization Program, which upgrades the radar on the aircraft to enhance navigation reliability to support nuclear and conventional missions. Both efforts ensure the aircraft remains relevant and mission ready through 2050 and beyond.
Greater Oklahoma City Chamber President and CEO Roy Williams said this expansion announcement speaks volumes about what Boeing sees in the Oklahoma City area.
“This kind of announcement shows Oklahoma City is excelling in meeting the needs for Boeing and the entire aerospace industry,” said Williams. “Boeing doesn’t take these decisions lightly, so this announcement will have people paying even more attention to Oklahoma City and we look forward to helping grow the job opportunities within the aerospace industry.”
According to Anderson, this new space shows Boeing’s commitment to Oklahoma City, which is a key asset in attracting engineering talent and continuing to grow in Oklahoma.
“Today, to attract top talent, it’s important to be able to demonstrate a commitment to the digital engineering world,” said Anderson. “The basic foundations of engineering remain the same, but they are now mirrored with model-based engineering and the ability to create digital twins. This new high bay and our existing AVID Center give us some recruiting advantages and position us well to compete for and win future contracts.”
The new addition is being constructed on land owned by the Oklahoma Industries Authority, which is leased by Boeing. The Alliance for Economic Development of Oklahoma City oversees the OIA. The project is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2021.