GKN Aerospace has broken ground on an addition
to the company’s Tallassee facility that will house an engineering
Construction will now begin on the permanent, 10,800-square-foot base for the Alabama
engineering design centre, where design and analysis engineers
initially will focus on composite technologies for rotorcraft.
“The new composites design engineering centre in
Alabama will enable our global company to expand the high level of design/development engineering support we provide to customers,”
said Jeff Barger, vice president and general manager of the GKN
Aerospace Advanced Composite Structures (ACS) facility. “In
addition, this project will significantly increase the number of highly skilled engineering personnel based at the growing facility
The engineering design centre is now housed
in a temporary location at the Elmore County plant, which
concentrates on aerostructures made from composite materials for
industry partners such as Bell Helicopter, HondaJet, and Airbus.
Initial recruiting has begun for the centre, which will have a
maximum headcount of 30.
Secretary of Commerce Greg Canfield, who attended the
ground-breaking ceremony on Thursday, said GKN Aerospace’s decision to locate
the engineering design centre in Tallassee is significant because
it positions the state to attract more knowledge-based jobs in
aerospace and other industries.
“Alabama offers advanced
manufacturers many advantages, including a skilled workforce,
top-notch job-training programs, and a business-friendly
environment,” Canfield said. “This project from GKN Aerospace
shows that Alabama also represents an attractive location for
research and development functions that provide critical support
to advanced manufacturing.”
The GKN Aerospace ACS facility,
located about 35 miles from Montgomery, has been in operation
since 1985 and today employs more than 1,000 people. The Alabama
plant boasts 380,000 square feet of manufacturing space, after a
120,000-square-foot expansion announced in 2005.
engineering design centre is expected to be operating in its new
home by early next year.
“We’re very excited that GKN has
decided to do this project in our community,” Tallassee Mayor
Bobby Payne said. “It means that we will get more good jobs at a
time when jobs are needed. GKN is an excellent company, and it
continues to do great work.”
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