"When we talk about job creation, we're talking about real people," said Governor Bentley from the podium at the Mobile Airbus groundbreaking.
Leaders like Governor Bentley did less speaking today, giving way to ordinary citizens to speak about the "groundbreaking" changes that Airbus will bring to the area.
Among the speakers - a small business owner.
"The people who will work here along with us who support them and their families will create about $150 million additional earnings in the Mobile area alone," said Liz Freeman of Long's Human Resource Services.
The project supervisor, wearing hard hat and safety vest, spoke of the construction ripple effect that Airbus will have.
"Breaking ground here today is the first step as we will be breaking a lot of ground in the future in coming years," said Henry Hinojosa of Hoar Program Management.
But, stealing the show was an 88th grade student who spoke of the new opportunities that Airbus will bring to the generation of young Mobilians.
"I am not alone in having big dreams," said Victoria Corob of Clark-Shaw magnet School.
" I know so many of my classmates are as excited as I am to have the chance to design or build the airplanes of tomorrow."
The president of Rockwell-Collins spoke, representing all suppliers. The president of jetBlue spoke, representing the Airbus customers. But really today was all about the people – the people of Mobile -and how the city will change, dramatically, with Airbus here.
"The idea is while the airplanes are the vehicle and the first thing people will see really, the effect will go beyond building airplanes," said Chip McConnell.
Vice President of Communications for Airbus Americas who planned today's event. "It affects positively the lives of people here and across the country."
"We really had some good people speaking and I think it's good to have regular, ordinary people there today," said Alabama Governor Robert Bentley. "It is groundbreaking – it's literal and it's figurative."
We heard from Senators….
And County Commissioners….
But today's groundbreaking broke ground in featuring ordinary citizens talking about the impact Airbus will have on the area.
"The people here are very gracious and are very excited that EADS and Airbus are here in the Gulf Coast region and are making this investment and so it seemed exactly the right thing for this groundbreaking ceremony to real include the people whose lives are going to be positively impacted for really generations to come," said McConnell.
Economists, business owners, construction workers, and even an 88th grade girl made the case that Airbus will have a profound impact on the future of the area.
The politicians didn't mind sharing the limelight at today's big occasion.
"I think it worked out very very well. That idea, I'd like to take credit for it but that was Airbus they wasn't our idea," said Mobile Mayor Sam Jones.