The aviation giant has added about 100 workers to its Springs payroll in the past year and expects to add 50 to 75 more this year to complete software design and hardware systems that control the Space Based Space Surveillance satellite system, along with upgrades to the Global Positioning System satellite network and a new global military-communications satellite system, said Bill Hodgkins, Boeing's senior Colorado executive.
is among the fastest-growing firms in one of the few industries in Colorado Springs that is expanding amid a deepening recession that has triggered layoffs by technology manufacturers, retailers, construction firms and many others.
The local defense contracting industry's 10 largest players employ more than 7,000, and several are filling openings after winning new contracts or additional work on existing programs.
Boeing's Springs work force has grown from 423 in 2006 to about 600 by the end of last year, mostly working on software engineering and hardware design on contracts for satellites that will be used by the Air Force Space Command and other local military units, Hodgkins
Most of the company's local work force consists of employees with computer science and engineering degrees who earn an annual salary of more than $60,000, he
"We began moving work on the Space Based Space Surveillance system here in the second half of last year because we are trying to integrate (teams working on) the software engineering and hardware design" of the three satellite systems, Hodgkins
"Colorado Springs is the base for several key space-related programs for Boeing
because it is the center for U.S. military space activities, missile defense, and for U.S. Homeland Defense efforts."
Hodgkins became Boeing's top local executive in October 2006 after retiring from the Air Force as a major general serving as director of plans and policy for the North American Aerospace Defense Command at Peterson Air Force Base.