GE Aviation celebrated in Ellisville the grand opening of its second aviation composites factory in Mississippi – an investment that will add hundreds of new jobs in the state.
For the festivities, GE Aviation president and CEO David Joyce joined Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant, U.S. Senator Roger Wicker and U.S. Congressman Steven Palazzo.
The new 340,000-square-foot facility will be referred to as GE Aviation's Ellisville Composites facility, and it will manufacture and assemble new composite components that are unique in the aviation industry.
GE Aviation, a world-leading producer of jet engines, already employs more than 450 people at a factory near Batesville in northwest Mississippi, which opened in 2008. This factory is involved in the assembly of large front fans for jet engines as well as the production of composite components.
With the opening of Ellisville, GE Aviation will add up to 40 jobs in 2013. Based on current demand for its jet engines, GE expects hiring to reach 250 employees in Ellisville by 2017.
"Today is an exciting day for Ellisville, Jones County and the entire state as GE Aviation opens the doors to its second Mississippi facility," Governor Bryant said. "I appreciate the contributions this exemplary corporate citizen has made to our state, and I thank GE Aviation officials for continuing to invest in Mississippi."
"GE Aviation’s growing partnership with the state of Mississippi is creating long-term economic growth," said David Joyce, president and CEO of GE Aviation. "We couldn't be happier with our Batesville operation, and we look forward to the growth of our new Ellisville operation."
Ellisville employees are being trained in team-building and advanced manufacturing processes, with assistance from the Mississippi Polymer Institute at The University of Southern Mississippi and The Advanced Technology Center at Jones County Junior College. The plant delivers its first components in 2013.
"This new facility is a testament to South Mississippi's expanding aerospace corridor, business-friendly climate, and the work of our institutions of higher education to train and equip a world-class workforce. GE has made a solid investment in Jones County that is sure to pay off many times over," said Congressman Steven Palazzo.
"I applaud GE Aviation's decision to expand its operations in Mississippi," said U.S. Senator Roger Wicker. "The new facility in Ellisville will bring hundreds of good, high-paying jobs to working families. This investment will strengthen our state’s partnership with one of the world’s great companies. I know our highly skilled workforce will meet the challenge."
The facility will produce composite parts for two new engine programs: the best-selling LEAP jet engine being developed by CFM, a joint company of GE and Snecma (SAFRAN) of France and GE's new Passport jet engine. Ellisville will manufacture fan platforms (installed between the engine's front fan blades) for the LEAP-1A and the LEAP-1C, which will power Airbus's A320neo and COMAC'S C919 respectively.