Expansion in Buncombe and Ashe Counties Brings an Investment of More than $100 Million
GE Aviation, a global manufacturer of aircraft engines and components, will create 146 full-time jobs over four years at its facilities in Asheville and West Jefferson, North Carolina.
On March 1, 2018, Governor Roy Cooper announced that the company will invest nearly $105 million to add production capacity supporting its revolutionary ceramic matrix composite (CMC) line of engine components.
“North Carolina welcomes innovators who drive our economy forward,” Governor Cooper said. “GE Aviation and their North Carolina employees have a long history of accomplishment in our state and this expansion will put even more people to work building the next generation of innovative products for the aerospace industry.”
GE Aviation’s Asheville and West Jefferson facilities are part of the company’s Aviation Supply Chain. The Asheville plant, opened in 2014, was the company’s first site to mass produce CMC components for jet engines. The ceramic components, which are lighter and stronger than conventional materials, enhance engine performance and offer lower fuel and maintenance costs.
GE Aviation currently employs more than 1,700 people in North Carolina. Of the 146 new positions, 15 will go to Ashe County and 131 to Buncombe County.
“We are very pleased to continue expanding our GE Aviation business in Asheville,” said Michael Meguiar, Asheville Plant Leader. “We continue to build on a great workforce, culture and community that supports advanced manufacturing jobs in Western North Carolina. This merging of technology and a strong, creative workforce is the foundation of our success. Our site continues to grow as we win components for our next generation of engines such as the GE9X and the CFM LEAP. I’m very proud of the technology advances and the continued competitiveness that our teams have been able to demonstrate.”
“The companies that know North Carolina best are the ones already doing business in our state,” said North Carolina Commerce Secretary Anthony M. Copeland. “GE Aviation’s vote of confidence with this decision confirms once again that North Carolina offers innovative companies all the ingredients they need for success in today’s competitive marketplace.”
The North Carolina Department of Commerce and the Economic Development Partnership of N.C. (EDPNC) were instrumental in supporting the company’s expansion decision.
Salaries for the new jobs will vary by position but will average $48,214, well over the average wage of $39,192 in Buncombe County or the average wage of $31,705 in Ashe County.
A performance-based grant of $558,700 from the One North Carolina Fund will help facilitate GE Aviation’s expansion in North Carolina. The One N.C. Fund provides financial assistance to local governments to help attract economic investment and to create jobs. Companies receive no money upfront and must meet job creation and capital investment targets to qualify for payment. All One NC grants require a matching grant from local governments and any award is contingent upon that condition being met.
In addition to North Carolina Commerce and the Economic Partnership of North Carolina, other key partners in the project include the North Carolina General Assembly, the North Carolina Community College System, Buncombe County, Ashe County, the City of Asheville, Ashe County Economic Development, and the Economic Development Coalition of Asheville and Buncombe County.
The Governor’s office is online at Governor.nc.gov.
Source: Ford Porter, NC Office of the Governor