For the past couple of years, Boeing Co. has been downsizing its workforce in Southern California. Well, in a move opposite of this, the company has announced that it will increase its engineering workforce in Long Beach and Seal Beach by 1,000 jobs spread across the next two years, according to The Los Angeles Times.
As of right now, the company has 1,800 commercial engineers working in Long Beach and Seal Beach, which makes this announcement somewhat surprising. Boeing also announced earlier this week that its production line of C-17s would be shuttered three months ahead of schedule. The line will be shuttered early in 2015.
Boeing has been moving its work away from Southern California for the past couple of years, but has shown signs of strengthening its presence in the region of late. Last year the company announced that some 675 jobs would be moved to the area from Puget Sound.
A new engineering design center for commercial aircraft was announced by Boeing back in May of 2013 and out-of-production airplanes would also be based at the center. With the most recent announcement, the majority of the company’s work on next-generation aircraft will move to California from Washington before 2015 comes to an end.
“We will be expanding our presence in Southern California to create a site dedicated to a superior customer experience,” Lynne Thompson, a Boeing commercial airplanes vice president, said in a statement. “This move will allow us to tap into existing engineering talent in California to expand on our outstanding customer support and align resources in a single location.”
The plant in Long Beach was built by Douglas Aircraft and it still has a large “Fly DC Jets: in front of the building. The plant was successful for decades on end and employed thousands. It also produced the DC-3, the DC-8 and the MD-80, all of which are some of the world’s most popular airliners. Boeing ended its run of producing commercial aircraft at this plant in 2006 when its final 717 left the assembly line. This plane was inherited by Boeing when it acquired McDonnell Douglas Corp. back in 1997.
The Air Force’s C-17 cargo jet is assembled in Long Beach right now. There are some 2,200 employees working on the C-17 in California. Workforce cuts have already occurred this year on the C-17 and more are to come through next year prior to the closing of the line.
California boasts 18,640 employees with Boeing, which puts it in second place behind Washington. Just 10 years ago there were 35,000 employees at Boeing in the state, making it the largest private employer in Southern California.
Click here to check out all Boeing Co. jobs in California.