(MOBILE, Ala.) - Mobile City and County Leaders returned to Mobile from Germany after spending several days touring the Airbus operation in Hamburg.
Mobile Mayor Sam Jones, who visited the facility last summer following the company's announcement that they would be building a final assembly plant at Brookley Aeroplex, said it was an opportunity for city officials to see the operation and recruit suppliers to the area.
"It's huge. It's really just huge," Jones said about the Airbus plant boasting 17,000 employees. Jones said there are about 40,000 direct and indirect jobs with the Hamburg plant.
"It was something we felt was really necessary. (We) actually saw them working on an A320 and a 380, and see what their real assembly lines look like. So I thought that was something really educational for them," says Jones.
He said he was impressed with the training of Airbus workers, which is the same training that will soon be in Mobile.
"They actually train their people on several different disciplines," Jones said, "So there's not one person that does one thing, everybody on the plane can do anything."
Though the final assembly line at Brookley Aeroplex won't be nearly as big as the German plant, Jones said there is plenty of excitement from the company which has a massive backlog of aircraft orders.
"They'll start off building four a month," Jones said about the Mobile Final Assembly Line. "Their goal is to get to eight. I would not be surprised if you see them start talking about expansion after that eight which would be four years from now.
Jones said there is plenty of opportunity to bring suppliers and contract workers to work for the future Airbus plant in Mobile. Jones said city leaders spoke to several Airbus suppliers in Germany, and he personally spoke to other suppliers in Atlanta last week.
"There's just a number of opportunities that could come in the community if we can make a business climate that's conducive for all of those folks on the business end," Jones said.