Special to The Star
The Meridian Star
ELLISVILLE — GE Aviation celebrated in Ellisville Tuesday 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 Gov. Phil Bryant, U.S. Sen. 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, according to a press release.
GE Aviation, a producer of jet engines, 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,” 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," Palazzo said. "GE has made a solid investment in Jones County that is sure to pay off many times over."
“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. 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, the press release states.
The facility will also manufacture the inlet for the Passport engine, which was selected by Bombardier to power the Global 7000 and Global 8000 business jets.
In addition to jet engine components, Ellisville will manufacture the transcowl, a component of the thrust reverser, which is located in the rear of the nacelle for Airbus’s A320neo.
“I am confident GE Aviation will enjoy the same success in Ellisville that it has in Batesville,” said Mississippi Development Authority Executive Director Brent Christensen. “I am glad the Mississippi Development Authority was able to assist GE Aviation in expanding into Jones County, and we appreciate our partners in Ellisville and Jones County who have worked so hard to help make this new facility a reality.”