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Boeing

FILE - In this Jan. 25, 2011 file photo is the Boeing Company logo on the property in El Segundo, Calif.  (AP Photo/Reed Saxon, File)

Boeing Co. is moving 500 jobs to its north St. Louis County campus from California.

The jobs moving to St. Louis County from Huntington Beach, Calif., are part of a consolidation of the company’s Defense, Space & Security business headquartered in St. Louis, spokeswoman Sarah Reed told the Post-Dispatch.

“We will be bringing 500 positions to St. Louis,” Reed said, adding the jobs are support positions, not production jobs. Chicago-based Boeing currently employs 14,500 people in the St. Louis area.

Additionally, Boeing announced Tuesday that it’s closing its El Paso, Texas, and Newington, Va., sites.

“In order to push ourselves farther and win more business, we need to make the most of our resources and talent,” Leanne Caret, president and CEO, Defense, Space & Security, said in a statement. “These steps will help us be a stronger partner for our customers worldwide.”

The consolidation is part of an effort to enhance efficiency and promote greater collaboration, the company said, adding that new facilities will not be added in the St. Louis area for the added jobs. “We won’t be adding any infrastructure at this point,” Reed said.

The jobs are professional-level positions ranging from engineering to finance, said Reed.

About 1,600 jobs will be moved from Huntington Beach, mainly to other California locations. Huntington Beach hosts a design and research center working with small satellite technology, advanced space access, networked systems, cybersecurity, unmanned underwater vehicles, and advanced manufacturing.

Boeing has moved several hundred jobs to St. Louis over the past three years, in fields such as information technology, research and development and support for the F-22 Raptor fighter. But overall Boeing employment in the metro area has hovered in the 14,500 to 15,000 range.

Boeing plans to hire 700 people by 2023 to make wing and tail parts for its 777X airline at a newly built plant at its sprawling complex in north St. Louis County.

Thousands of other St. Louis production jobs face an uncertain future over the long term as Boeing seeks enough orders to keep its F/A-18 and F-15 fighter lines far into the next decade. The company has enough F/A-18 orders to operate until 2020 and enough F-15 orders to last until early in the next decade.

Boeing is bidding to build the next Air Force trainer, and a win would likely extend employment in St. Louis. The first prototype of the trainer was built in North County.

The state of Missouri is offering incentives worth $229 million over 18 years if Boeing adds 2,000 jobs here. Under the complex deal, Boeing could reap $146 million if it simply keeps the current job count, and lesser amounts if it limits job cuts.

Missouri elected officials cheered the latest job transfer announcement.

“Boeing’s decision to move more than 500 jobs to Missouri makes perfect sense — because the St. Louis region, and frankly our entire state, offer one of the most dedicated, innovative workforces in the country, and play a critical role on our nation’s defense,” U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill said in a statement.

“The 500 new jobs that Boeing is bringing to St. Louis are a testament to the city’s talented, dedicated workforce, and the potential our state has to drive the aerospace industry forward,” said U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt in an emailed statement.

“This addition of jobs is a testament to the skill and dedication of our workforce, collaboration with the county, and the quality of life area residents enjoy,” said St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger.

Boeing Defence Australia, Boeing Defense Saudi Arabia, and Boeing Defence United Kingdom will be aligned and managed in a new global operations group led by David Pitchforth, who will continue as managing director of Boeing Defence UK, Boeing said.