David Joyce, President and CEO of GE Aviation, shows off part of a turbine engine’s blade

GE Aviation President and CEO David Joyce at the grand opening of its new jet engine components factory in the Auburn Technology Park West near Exit 50 on Interstate 85.

GE Aviation expects to hire 50 employees at their new Auburn manufacturing plant by the end of the year and another 300-400 more employees by the end of the decade.

GE Aviation, based out of Cincinnati, Ohio, celebrated the grand opening of its new jet engine components factory in the Auburn Technology Park West near Exit 50 on Interstate 85 this week.

This is GE Aviation’s first facility in the state of Alabama and will represent an investment of $75 million in the state of Alabama. 

“We not only have a great workforce, we also have the right attitude,” said Gov. Robert Bentley. “You can teach someone skills, but you can’t teach them the right attitude; so if you hire people with the right attitude it’s going to help the company succeed.”

The 300,000-square-foot advanced manufacturing plant will produce precision, super-alloy machined parts for GE jet engines that will power future commercial and military aircraft, and also support the vast fleet of GE jet engines already in service. 

The Auburn facility will manufacture high-pressure turbine (HPT) airfoils. The plant will deliver its first parts later this year. 

As the facility starts up production, it is expected that the Auburn facility will contribute to every commercial jet engine family produced by GE Aviation.

“In economic development we often use the term cutting edge and we want cunning-edge companies because they are more likely to be around for a long time providing jobs, taxes and economic benefits to the community and the state,” said Mayor Bill Ham Jr. “GE is truly a cunning-edge company with a long list of firsts including the first U.S. jet engine and the first Mach 2 engine among many other firsts.”

GE Aviation chose to locate in Auburn because of its access to a skilled work force and its proximity to Alabama’s university system (Auburn University, Tuskegee University and Southern Union State Community College).

GE has partnered with Alabama Industrial Development Training (AIDT) to develop pre-employment training programs at each institution.

Southern Union does the machining portion of the pre-employment training and in order to develop a pipeline of young talent, GE has worked with Auburn University and Tuskegee University to create internship and co-op opportunities for students.

“At the end of this week we will be shipping our first production parts fully certified by Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) out of this facility,” said David Joyce, President and CEO of GE Aviation. “This facility in Auburn represents our new home and I am thrilled with this opportunity in Alabama, but I can assure you it won’t be our last.” 

Surrounding the new facility is an additional 11 acres that are not being utilized at the moment, but Mayor Ham said the land is GE’s if they want it; opening the door for future GE industry to locate in Auburn.

The new Alabama facility displays the unprecedented growth of GE Aviation, where production rates are expected to grow from 3,600 commercial and military engine deliveries in 2013 to more than 3,800 deliveries in 2014. Compared to the past five years, GE’s investment across its more than 50 operations in the U.S. will more than double.

GE Aviation generated revenues of $20 billion in 2012. GE Aviation also has the largest and fastest-growing installed base of jet engines in commercial aviation and a global services network to support them. GE Aviation employs approximately 40,000 people and operates more than 80 facilities around the world.

To see a photo gallery of the new facility in Auburn and the ribbon cutting ceremony click here: http://www.auburnvillager.com/gallery/news/collection_3239896e-b10c-11e2-8fcf-001a4bcf6878.html

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