Winnipeg’s Boeing manufacturing plant will be growing as ground broke on a 12,000 square-foot expansion Wednesday.
The plant, which employs around 1,500 people in the city, makes composite parts for Boeing airplanes including the acoustic inner barrel for the 737 MAX and the landing gear doors for the 787 Dreamliner.
Part of the expansion will be a 7,250 square-foot freezer that will be used to store manufacturing materials, leading to more efficient work in the plant and will be better for the environment.
“It gives us more capacity for upcoming rate increases. It also makes it a much safer operation and it’s a sustainable operation as well,” said Teri Thompson, the general manager of the Winnipeg plant.
Boeing said energy usage will drop by more than 20 per cent and the refrigeration system uses fewer emissions.
Thompson said this expansion will eventually lead to the hiring of more people at the plant.
“As we steadily increase rate increases, hiring comes along with that. We just want to make sure we’re doing it at the right time.”
Both Premier Wab Kinew and Winnipeg Mayor Scott Gillingham were at the groundbreaking. Kinew said it is great to see Boeing investing in Winnipeggers and Manitobans.
“Our team are big believers in what our province can do when we put working people first,” said Kinew. “It’s great to see that Boeing is continuing to invest here so that there are going to be more good jobs in the future for people to be able to work at.”
Gillingham acknowledged that Boeing has been a key part of the city and province’s economy since it set up shop in Winnipeg.
“(It’s) a key part of a community that provides excellent jobs for people across our city and throughout our province, proudly holding the title of the largest aerospace composite manufacturer in Canada,” said Gillingham.
“Thank you so much to Boeing for choosing Winnipeg again and making the investment here, not only for this expansion, but it’s going to translate into more long-term jobs, job creation and a positive economic impact in the city.”
The project is set to cost Boeing $20 million.
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