Sean Rooth has a wide-eyed enthusiasm that can’t be faked.
The five-year Boeing veteran, who has worked in Auburn for his Boeing career, keeps his gaze focused in the distance as he surveys across the open expanse of training tables and equipment on the first floor of the brand new Workforce Readiness Center, Auburn’s first new building in 25 years.
“I’m blown away,” said Rooth, a 737 dorsal fin assembly mechanic as he toured the building for the first time. “The light, the space between machines, the entire feeling – it’s great. And on the second floor, I love the break room, the classrooms and the collaboration area. I’m thrilled to have this space to take care of my training needs.”
Auburn celebrated the Grand Opening of the new building that brought together Boeing leaders, civic and community leaders and more than 100 Auburn employees.
The Workforce Readiness Center, at 71,000 square feet will house training and certification programs for Fabrication’s Puget Sound and Auburn employees. It will also bring together for the first time a host of other training, orientation and educational programs on everything from health and physical therapy offerings to software training to new employee orientation and retirement planning. It will also be the new home to the site’s relocated medical clinic. For the first time, IAM/Boeing Joint Programs, a collaborative venture between the company and its largest labor union aimed at promoting the safety and skills of hourly employees, will have its headquarters on the Auburn site.
For Auburn site Leader Jack Meehan, it’s hard to overstate the importance of a building dedicated to building and honing the skills of the site’s employees. “This represents a significant investment in our employees, and it supports everything we’re doing here to increase our capabilities,” said Meehan. “We can’t stand still. We can’t continue to do what we’re doing for the sole reason that, ‘We’ve always done it that way.’ It requires a new mindset, and this building represents a careful, studied leap into the future.”
Auburn celebrated its 50-year anniversary last year providing critical parts and assemblies primarily to Commercial Airplanes programs. Auburn’s seven manufacturing business units produce 17,000 parts each day for Boeing’s commercial programs.
The move of the medical clinic allows a second new building for Auburn to begin construction in coming weeks, on the spot where the old clinic building will be torn down. The Operations Readiness Center will serve as a warehouse for key spare parts as well as the focal point for Auburn Site Services to maintain the site.
Boeing project planners expect both buildings to be certified as LEED Silver facilities, which represents a higher level of environmental responsibility and energy efficiency, which is a new standard for Boeing buildings under construction.
By Tim Healy