October 31, 2011

State of Alabama
Press Release: Alabama Department of Commerce

GE Aviation Breaks Ground On $50 Million Auburn Plant

GE Aviation broke ground for its new $50 million jet engine components factory in Auburn this afternoon

Gov. Robert Bentley; U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Saks; Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard, R-Auburn; and Auburn Mayor Bill Ham Jr. joined GE Aviation executives at the event.

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 to support the vast fleet of GE jet engines already in service.

The plant is set to complete construction late next year and production will start in 2013.

Some hiring will take place in 2012 with more jobs filled as production increases to eventually employ 300 to 400 people over the next six or seven years.

GE Aviation said it chose Auburn largely due to its access to a skilled workforce and its proximity to universities. The GE plant plans to develop collaborative relationships with Auburn University and Tuskegee University.

"GE Aviation has enjoyed significant success establishing 'Centers of Excellence' that focus on specific aviation components and processes within our supply chain," said Colleen Athans, vice president and general manager of GE Aviation. "We are very excited to add Auburn to our network of manufacturing operations."

The new Alabama facility underscores the growth of GE Aviation, where deliveries of commercial engines for GE and its partner companies will grow in 2012 to near-record levels. GE Aviation employs approximately 17,000 workers in more than 30 manufacturing operations in the U.S.

Combined with GE's military engines, total engine deliveries in 2011 for GE Aviation and its partner companies are expected to reach 3,200 engines.

Birmingham's B.L. Harbert International will build the new facility, which was designed by Montgomery-based Goodwyn Mills & Cawood.

Greg Canfield, director of the Alabama Development Office, said getting GE Aviation to the state is a major feather in the state's cap is it looks to expand in the aerospace industry.

"GE Aviation is an important part of Alabama's aviation and aeronautics strategy as we move forward to build the aerospace industry in the state of Alabama," he said. "Securing GE Aviation and the project that we will have here will open the door for not only job opportunities for Alabamians, but it will also solidify our presence internationally as a state with a solid base from which to build. The supply chain this will bring will also be significant over time."

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