Another day, another groundbreaking for North Alabama. Governor Kay Ivey appearing for the big debut of a new multi-million dollar rocket plant in Huntsville Tuesday.
State and local leaders dug into red dirt that will soon become a 136,000 sq. ft aerospace manufacturing plant.
“This has been a realization of a dream of Aerojet Rocketdyne, coupled with partnership of Alabama and certainly the great city of Huntsville for over the last two years,” explained Mohammed Khan, Aerojet Rocketdyne Senior Vice President of Defense.
Aerojet Rocketdyne is building the rocket shop on Pulaski Pike in the North Huntsville Industrial Park.
“Mayor Tommy Battle was huge in our decision to come here, but we’ve been in Huntsville for over 50 years. We’ve had huge success in working with the University of Alabama in Huntsville. We know we can get the right type of resources we need,” said Aerojet Rocketdyne CEO and President Eileen Drake.
The facility will cost about $17 million. “Huntsville is building this from their own investment coupled with our investment from Aerojet Rocketdyne, so it truly is a team effort,” said Khan.
The Advanced Manufacturing Facility will bring with it 700 new jobs, each employee making an average of $80,000 a year.
Those workers will make a next generation rocket engine for national security missions and, “3D printing, rocket body production, all of the things that areospace and defense advanced product manufacturing would centralize in this facility,” Khan continued.
The facility is expected to open winter of 2018. Aerojet Rocketdyne also plans to build a separate $11 million headquarters in Huntsville’s Cummings Research Park. Construction on that is scheduled for January.