(Butte, MT) – Montana’s senior U.S. Senator Max Baucus invited Boeing CEO Jim McNerney and Montana Governor Steve Bullock on stage at his 6th Economic Development Summit in Butte today to announce Boeing will expand its Helena manufacturing site by nearly 50 percent to support demand for commercial airplanes and new work for the Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner.
.Boeing expects the expansion and increased work to add 20-25 people to the 144-person workforce.
The $35 million expansion will add more than 55,000 square feet of manufacturing space, bringing the Boeing Helena facility to 167,099 square-feet.
“Time and time again we’ve seen that when we get the right folks to Montana, they choose to stay, invest and grow Montana jobs,” said Baucus, who first brought Boeing to Helena more than 10 years ago. “Boeing knows first-hand what Montana has to offer, so Boeing’s decision to expand shows the world Montana is great place to invest in state-of-the-art manufacturing.”
Baucus helped connect Boeing with a Helena company called Summit Aeronautics more than 10 years ago. At the time, Summit had just a handful of employees. Since partnering with Boeing to become ‘Boeing-Helena’ the site now employs more than 200 workers.
“Our further investment in Montana is a testament to our Helena team’s ability to deliver on their commitments and establish themselves as a reliable, globally competitive supplier to our commercial airplane programs,” McNerney said.
“Boeing Helena has a great future ahead in support of unprecedented production rates,” said Eric Smith, director and site leader, Boeing Helena. “This expansion ensures we have the stable workforce, skills and now the manufacturing space we need to support production requirements and take on new production for the 787-10.”
“Boeing Helena is a perfect example of how brining the right people to Montana, bring jobs,” said Montana Governor Steve Bullock. “I’ve worked hard on our Main Street Montana project to build on Max’s decades of work by creating a statewide economic roadmap.”
Construction will begin this fall on the south side of the existing facility, with estimated completion by the fourth quarter of 2014.
Boeing Helena manufactures complex parts for the 737, 747, 767 and 787 models from hard metals like titanium. Combined with its supply network in Montana, Boeing contributes significantly to the state’s economy.