Monday, October 13, 2014

Symposium takes look at region

DESTIN, Fla. -- The 18th annual Gulf Power Economic Symposium got under way Monday with about 600 in attendance, with much of the talk focusing on education the workforce for future jobs. And while aerospace was not a specific topic, it did come up. One audience member asked University of West Florida economist Rick Harper about Airbus, which is building an A320 final assembly line in Mobile, Ala., some 60 miles west of the Florida Panhandle. "Airbus is a long term investment," said Harper, pointing out that the planemaker is projecting that in the next 20 years there's going to be a worldwide need for about 6,000 narrow-body commercial passenger jets. He said that over time each of the 1,100 final assembly line jobs in Mobile will create four additional jobs, or 4,000 to 6,000 jobs in South Alabama, South Mississippi and Northwest Florida. He thinks Northwest Florida will get about 1,500 of those jobs. The symposium continues Tuesday. (Source: GCAC, 10/13/14)