Missouri Is A Global Hub of Aerospace & Defense Talent

Boeing was recently awarded a $9.2 billion contract by the U.S. Air Force to produce the T-X trainer jet in Missouri. Boeing and its partner Saab designed, developed, and flight-tested two all-new, purpose-built jets, proving out the system’s design, repeatability in manufacturing and training capability.

Boeing’s award for the T-X trainer program marked the third major contract won by the company in about a month, including an $805 million contract to build the Navy’s first four MQ-25 unmanned tankers in Missouri.

These victories, and much more across the state, highlight the many reasons why Missouri is the best location for aerospace and defense companies to grow and succeed: talent, a history of success, and an existing supply chain thanks to an abundance of 100+ world-class aerospace and defense companies.

If you are looking for hard working, highly skilled and available talent – look no farther than Missouri’s trained workforce. With more than 3 million educated workers Missouri’s talent pool is deep, specialized and experienced in our state’s key growth areas including aerospace and defense manufacturing.

Today, more than 14,000 of Missouri’s highly trained workers build the F/A-18, EA-18, F-15 and T-X Trainer fighter jets, along with the new unmanned MQ-25 refueling drone, at Boeing’s Defense, Space and Security facilities, along with a huge array of military ordinance.

But Missouri doesn’t just rest on its existing talent.

In 2007, after leaders at Boeing expressed concerns about the lack of skilled assembly technicians in the pipeline to replace the large numbers of baby boomers nearing retirement, the State of Missouri and St. Louis Community College teamed up to respond accordingly. St. Louis Community College’s Workforce Solutions Group and the Emerson Center for Engineering and Manufacturing formed a joint venture with Boeing to develop and implement its customized, unique Pre-employment Training Program, creating an ongoing pool of skilled employment for the company and the region.

The award-winning program is based upon curriculum provided by Boeing, including hands-on performance demonstration projects. Each session of the program provides 408 hours of instruction in aircraft assembly techniques, work instructions, teamwork, interview skills and resume writing.


And this talent isn’t specific to Boeing; statewide Missouri is home to 100+ aerospace manufacturing and defense companies. Boeing, Arnold Defense, GKN Aerospace, Honeywell, EaglePicher, LMI Aerospace, Seyer Industries, PAS Technologies, Leonardo DRS and more, companies in Missouri are leading the world in building and maintaining world-class aerospace and defense products.

This cluster of world-class companies means that area is the perfect location for suppliers and other businesses that support the aerospace and defense industry. Thus allowing new companies in the area to have instant access to an existing supply chain that you can only find in Missouri.

If you want to see more examples of Missouri’s excellence in aerospace and defense, one needs only to look into the past. Missouri has a rich history in aviation, especially military aviation. From Charles Lindbergh, to the Mercury space program, to the latest in aerospace innovation by Boeing, Missouri has led the way in every aspect of aviation for nearly 100 years.


But it is the next 100 years that has us even more excited. Missouri truly is a world-class hub of aerospace and defense excellence. With millions of dollars in contracts extending for years into the future, an existing and growing pool of highly-skilled talent and a pipeline that the workforce that companies need, with an existing supply chain and a deep heritage in aerospace it is no wonder more and more world-class aerospace and defense companies are choosing Missouri to grow their business.

The only question is, are you?

For more on Missouri’s aerospace and defense manufacturing check out our industry page, or contact Steve Johnson, CEO of Missouri Partnership, at 314.725.2688 or via our contact form, for more information on Missouri.

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