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Boeing to Close El Paso Plant; Mayor Leeser ‘Surprised’ by Announcement

Boeing announced Tuesday the closure of their El Paso Plant, as well as their Newington (Va.) location, in addition to several other consolidations.

“In order to push ourselves farther and win more business, we need to make the most of our resources and talent,” said Leanne Caret, president and CEO, Defense, Space & Security. “These steps will help us be a stronger partner for our customers worldwide.”

The plant, with nearly 300 workers, is located in Northeast El Paso at 9566 Railroad Dr.  While there is no set timetable for the closure, the company says the target date for all consolidations is 2020.

Boeing officials added that the decision was made to “operate its Defense, Space & Security business more efficiently through facilities consolidations and work movements that will increase employment in Los Angeles County, St. Louis, and Huntsville, Ala.”

El Paso Mayor Oscar Leeser released the following statement, following the Boeing announcement: “We are surprised by Boeing’s announcement, especially after working with them for two years to help work toward obtaining their FAA certification that would have allowed Boeing to diversify their operations. As soon as I was notified, my office immediately reached out to Boeing’s local leadership to offer assistance in helping prevent this closure.”

In a media release, the company went on to explain:

By the end of 2020 Boeing will reduce facilities space by approximately 4.5 million square feet. Along with that, many positions in Huntington Beach will move to El Segundo, Long Beach, and Seal Beach in Southern California, with others moving to St. Louis and Huntsville, Ala.

Similarly, many positions in Kent, Wash., will move to nearby Tukwila. 

With the moves, Los Angeles County gains about 1,600 positions, with St. Louis gaining 500 and Huntsville about 400.

“Making better use of our facilities will enhance efficiency and promote greater collaboration,” Caret said. “This will help drive our global growth in Boeing’s second century.”

To bolster that effort, Boeing Defence Australia, Boeing Defense Saudi Arabia, and Boeing Defence United Kingdom will be aligned and managed in a new global operations group led by David Pitchforth. He will also continue as managing director of Boeing Defence UK. While Pitchforth will report directly to Caret, those three organizations will continue operating independently.