Birmingham City Council

Birmingham City Council Approves Package That Will Bring 76 Research Jobs to City

Kratos SRE division manager Chris Tanner addresses the Birmingham City Council on Oct. 18, 2022.

Kratos Defense and Security Solutions, the San Diego-based company that purchased Southern Research’s engineering division earlier this year, will receive up to $228,000 in city incentives to bring 76 new jobs to Birmingham.

The Birmingham City Council unanimously approved the development agreement at its meeting Tuesdsay.

Kratos acquired Southern Research’s engineering division (SRE) in May for $80 million; it will invest an estimated total of $26.6 million into the division’s campus, located at 757 Tom Martin Drive. That will include hiring and training 76 new employees over the next five years; for each new hire, the city will refund the company $3,000 in occupational taxes.

Each job will bring an average yearly salary of $95,000.

Chris Tanner, a division manager for Kratos SRE, told the City Council that the company is “trying to ramp up and hire not just professional engineers but technicians and machinists… We intend to train these individuals, to pay for their training and education as well as their apprenticeships, and then retain them throughout their career. This is very technical aerospace engineering work that we want to generate and retain here in Birmingham.”

A major focus of the company will be high-temperature materials research, Tanner said, ensuring rockets and other projectiles “survive physics’ most difficult problem, which is re-entering the atmosphere.” Though Tanner emphasized the research’s applicability to space exploration programs, he said Kratos SRE will also focus on missile defense systems, strategic deterrence and hypersonic research for a “diverse range of national security customers.”