Aerospace giant Boeing is restructuring its Research & Technology Unit, shifting between 800 to 1,200 jobs from Washington state to new R&D locations in Huntsville, Ala.; Southern California; St. Louis and North Charleston, S.C.
“We are reorganizing and realigning our research-and-technology operations to better meet the needs of our Commercial Airplanes and Defense, Space & Security business units, as well as our government R&D customers,” said Greg Hyslop, vice president and general manager of Boeing Research & Technology, in a press release. “Our customers have a common need for new technology that can be integrated quickly and efficiently into current products and production lines, as well as enable new market-leading products and services. With these changes, we are enhancing our ability to provide effective, efficient and innovative technology solutions.”
The R&D centers will operate independently, working on research to benefit the environment, aviation safety, air traffic management and other areas. The company already operates technology centers in Australia, Brazil, China, India, Spain and Russia.
The new centers in Alabama, Missouri and South Carolina are expected to employ 300 to 400 people, while technology centers in California and Washington will lose jobs as a result. California plans to lose between 200 to 300 jobs at its technology center.
Gov. Jay Inslee issued this response about Boeing’s decision:
“I am disappointed to hear Boeing’s plans to move research and technology jobs out of Washington state and establish research centers around the country. For nearly a century, Washington has been the place where new discoveries in aerospace have been made and I am certain that will continue. Today’s news continues Boeing’s strategy of diversifying its workforce. This demonstrates why we are working so hard to ensure the 777X and its carbon fiber wing are designed and built in our state. We will continue to do all that we can to convince the company that Washington continues to be the best place in the world to not only build commercial airplanes, but design them and dream up new ideas that will make human flight—in all its forms—safer, faster, and more efficient.”
Here are the plans and core research activities for each of the centers.
Huntsville, Ala.: Simulation and Decision Analytics; Metals and Chemical Technology
Southern California: Flight Sciences; Electronics and Networked Systems; Structures
St. Louis: Systems Technology; Digital Aviation and Support Technology; Metallics and Fabrication Development
North Charleston, S.C.: Manufacturing Technology
Seattle: Manufacturing Technology Integration.