City leaders respond to Boeing 777X plant staying in WA - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

City leaders respond to Boeing 777X plant staying in WA

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The Boeing 777X plant will not come to Huntsville after a new contract was approved. The Boeing 777X plant will not come to Huntsville after a new contract was approved.

After weeks of discussion, proposals and imagining the possibilities, the Boeing 777x is not coming to the Tennessee Valley. But all is not lost in the eyes of some city leaders.  

Huntsville was one of the locations for the coveted Boeing 777x plant, but after a tight vote between the machinists union to accept a new contract, the jet will be built in Washington state. Mayor Tommy Battle said the news was disappointing, but it was a good experience for the community. 

"We had a great shot at it," he said. "We understand they were predicated by their union vote but in the long run I think they will be back in Huntsville and looking at other things to do."

When the plant was a possibility, many city officials came together on the project, including Chip Cherry with the Huntsville Chamber of Commerce. 

"It's not something that was a wasted effort it something that will put us in a very strong position when we go after similar work," said Cherry. 

Just because this opportunity isn't an option doesn't mean the city is missing out. Huntsville will get a $6 million Boeing research facility that will offer hundreds of jobs

"We have 400 jobs in the engineering center which made 100,000 a job which means we are adding $40 million a year to the economy. 

It's a win/win for these city leaders. 

"The commercial side of the company didn't know us very well," said Cherry. "They got to know us a lot better as a result of this project.  We are confident some good things will come out of it."

Governor Robert Bentley said he believed Boeing was very interested in Huntsville. He commented about the Boeing decision in Birmingham Wednesday. He said he believed Alabama had a good shot at winning the plant, saying he felt the state was in the top three in contention.

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