By Jeremy Morrison, Inweekly
–ST Engineering is forecasting job growth for its operations at the Pensacola airport, even as city officials continue to search for the funding needed to keep the jobs-project on track.
Pensacola Mayor Grover Robinson recently toured the ST hangar and got a look at the company’s work repairing UPS planes. He met with representatives, who reported that the company expected to bring on 169 employees this year, in addition to the 131 currently working at the site.
“So, they’ll be at 300 at the end of the year,” Robinson said, adding that ST intends to eventually employee 1,700 people. “They just need to have the hangars up, and that’s why it’s important that we get this money secured and we begin the process of moving forward with the hangars.”
City officials have cobbled together a collective of funding from various sources in an effort to secure the $210 million needed to design and construct a series of four hangars at the airport by over the next few years, with the end goal being ST supporting a healthy workforce at the site.
The city still needs another $25 million, which Mayor Robinson has said he expects to come from a variety of sources, including the state, the feds and another chunk from Triumph Gulf Coast, which oversees settlement funds related to the 2010 oil spill and has already granted the city $56 million for the project.
On his recent tour of ST’s operations at the existing hangar, Mayor Robinson took a look at list of the employees currently employed, broken down by zip code.
“It was interesting,” the mayor noted. “They had several zip codes that were codes that we have been looking — I know at least from the county perspective — that we’ve been looking to get jobs in. There was only one person for 32504, which is where the airport is.”