WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Gov. Pat McCrory and North Carolina Commerce Secretary Sharon Decker announced today that GE Aviation will expanding its manufacturing operations at four facilities in North Carolina, including its plant in Castle Hayne.
The project will create 242 new jobs and bring a capital investment of $195 million over the next five years.
“Part of our state’s economic recovery not only relies on creating new jobs here, but also on retaining great companies like GE,” Gov. McCrory said. “We’re serious about building on existing industries in North Carolina and this project is a perfect example of our commitment.”
GE Aviation will produce engine components made of advanced ceramic matrix composite (CMC) materials at a new facility located next to the existing GE Aviation machining plant in Asheville. This technology will result in enhanced performance and improved durability of engines, which translates into lower fuel and maintenance costs for customers. The project will also increase employment and investment in Durham, West Jefferson and Castle Hayne. GE currently employs more than 1,300 people at its four North Carolina sites.
“The aviation industry is a critical target sector for North Carolina, one that is becoming increasingly important to sustainable job and investment growth for the state,” Decke said. “Our state has the customized job training programs and skilled workforce that advanced manufacturers like GE Aviation need to compete in a global market.”
GE Aviation, a division of General Electric Company, is the world’s leading manufacturer of commercial and military jet engines and components as well as integrated digital, electric power and mechanical systems for aircraft. GE Aviation also manufactures gas turbines, derived from its highly successful jet engine programs, for marine and industrial applications. In addition, GE Aviation provides comprehensive maintenance support for jet engines in service throughout the world.
Compensation for the new positions will vary by job function, but average annual wage will be $47,942 plus benefits. The average annual wages for the new positions are above the average annual county wage in all four counties.
“GE has been investing in CMC technology for decades, and we are mastering the manufacturing of CMCs at our laboratory in Delaware. Asheville will be our first factory involved in the mass production of CMC components,” said David Joyce, president and CEO of GE Aviation. “We believe the future Asheville plant will be on the ground floor of a new technology that will change aviation.”
The project was made possible in part by an award to GE Aviation from the state Job Development Investment Grant (JDIG) program, as voted by the state Economic Investment Committee. Receipt of the award is based on proof of job creation and other performance requirements. The award is also subject to fund availability. JDIGs are awarded only to new and expanding businesses and industrial projects whose benefits exceed the costs to the state, and which would not be undertaken in North Carolina without the grant.
Under the terms of the company’s JDIG award, GE Aviation is eligible to receive up to 12 annual grants equal to 75 percent of the state personal income tax withholdings from the eligible new jobs created since the date of the initial award. Receipt of each annual grant is based on state-certified proof that the company has fulfilled incremental job creation requirements. Over 12 years, the JDIG award could yield aggregate benefits to GE Aviation of up to $3.57 million.
In addition, up to $1,190,000 in funds from the company’s JDIG award could be added to the state’s Utility Fund for infrastructure improvements in economically distressed counties. When a JDIG is awarded to a company whose site is located in the state’s more economically prosperous counties such as Buncombe, Durham and New Hanover counties, 25 percent of the company’s grant is allocated to the Utility Fund to encourage economic development in less prosperous counties. For more information on the county tier designations, visit: http://www.nccommerce.com/research-publications/incentive-reports/county-tier-designations.
The project was also made possible in part by a performance-based grant from the One North Carolina Fund of up to $1,250,000. The grant is contingent upon proof of job creation and receipt of a local funding match. The One NC Fund provides financial assistance, through local governments, to attract business projects that will stimulate economic activity and create new jobs in the state. Companies receive no money up front and must meet job creation and investment performance standards to qualify for grant funds.
Other partners that worked on the project include: the N.C. Department of Commerce, N.C. Community Colleges, Ashe County, Buncombe County, Durham County, New Hanover County, City of Asheville, City of Durham, Town of West Jefferson and Ashe County Job Development.