Macon County awaits decision on T-100 jet project

Macon County awaits decision on T-100 jet project

MACON COUNTY, AL (WSFA) - An announcement surrounding the T-100 is expected to take place soon. On Tuesday, the Macon County Economic Development Authority met for its regular monthly meeting in Tuskegee, likely to be the last meeting before the Air Force announces who will build the jet.

Macon County Economic Development Director Joe Turnham gave an update on the T-100 project to board members and stakeholders. He says they are expecting an announcement by Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson sometime in September.

Turnham and board members remain optimistic about the chance of Leonardo DRS winning the Air Force contract to build the next generation of jet trainers in Tuskegee.

While they wait to see who is awarded this contract they are continuing to talk with community leaders, partners, and the state's congressional delegation.

"The one thing we did here today in the board room is make sure our stake holders in the communities (municipalities, county commission, school board, law enforcement), that we all understand what our responsibility will be," Turnham said. "If you do win and there is a protest you have to defend the project. So how do we do that? We need to be ready when it comes down so we are doing all the necessary things."

Workforce development is also a key component to all of this. Turnham says making sure they have a skilled workforce is something they are focused on.

DRS, an Italian company, is up against Boeing and Lockheed Martin for the bid.

If DRS wins the contract, it will build the jet at Moton Field, home to the famed Tuskegee Airmen.

The contract would bring about 750 jobs over the next decade and a total investment in the project's buildings, infrastructure, and equipment that would exceed $200 million to $250 million.

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