I have some great news to share. Virgin Galactic, the privately-funded space company founded by Sir Richard Branson, is moving into a new 150,000 sq ft facility right next to the Long Beach Airport at Douglas Park. Virgin Galactic will manufacture the company’s new satellite launch vehicle, LauncherOne, right here in Long Beach.
This is not only good for our local economy, but shows that Long Beach is a place that is attracting innovative companies and international attention.
Since becoming Mayor, I've been talking about building an economy of the future. Virgin Galactic's mission and brand make them exactly the type of business we want to attract. Virgin Galactic also announced it will be hosting a job fair and open house at the new facility, and I’ll share the details of that event as soon as I have them. Virgin expects to hire 100 employees initially, with that number growing as the operation moves forward.
LauncherOne is designed to launch smaller commercial or governmental satellites from Virgin’s WhiteKnightTwo carrier aircraft. The new Long Beach facility will allow easy transportation of rockets and satellites using WhiteKnightTwo.
California and Los Angeles County have always been home to the true pioneers of the aerospace business, and we can all celebrate the fact that Long Beach attracted a tenant like Virgin Galactic, a world-renowned leader of the commercial space industry. The new facility is next to the factory where Boeing has built the C-17 for nearly 75 years.
Thank you Virgin Galactic for choosing Long Beach, and thanks also to Councilwoman Stacy Mungo, who worked hard to make this a reality, and to the Seres-Regis Group, who operate Douglas Park and have been instrumental in bringing Virgin to Long Beach. This is one of the most exciting and dynamic businesses in the country, and they are bringing excellent jobs we need for the talented and hard-working aerospace professionals who already call Long Beach home.