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GE Reveals Bigger U.S. Footprint To Meet Demand

 - February 15, 2012, 3:30 PM

GE Aviation is to expand its manufacturing and R&D capacity in the U.S. with three new facilities to open by 2013, the company announced Tuesday. It expects its production rates to grow from 3,000 commercial and military engine deliveries in 2011 to 3,400 deliveries in 2012 and 3,800 deliveries in 2013, requiring $580 million in plant, equipment and tooling during the 2011-2012 time frame across its network of 55 U.S. operations.

Employing 25,000 people in the U.S. alone, GE Aviation has added 1,000 employees since 2010 and plans to add another 400 over the next three years.

“We are firing on all cylinders,” said company president and CEO David Joyce. “Our new-product development efforts and current product deliveries are at historic levels. We are a global enterprise with operations worldwide, but our expanding business has driven the investment in U.S. plants and equipment.”

The construction of three new GE Aviation sites now under way reflects the company’s growing collaboration with U.S. communities. The company expects to finish construction on a 300,000-sq-ft factory to manufacture advanced composite components for jet engines and aircraft systems in Ellisville, Mississippi, by year-end. Schedules call for the facility to begin operating in 2013, and the company expects it to create 250 manufacturing jobs by 2016. GE Aviation’s first composites factory in Mississippi, opened in Batesville in 2008, now employs more than 300 workers.

GE (Booth H65) also expects to complete construction on another 300,000-sq-ft plant in Auburn, Alabama, by the end of the year. It will produce advanced machined parts for commercial and military engines. Limited hiring begins next year. GE has set a goal to employ 300 to 400 people when the plant reaches full production later this decade.

Finally, in Dayton, Ohio, construction has begun on GE’s new Electrical Power Integrated Systems Research and Development Center (Episcenter). Scheduled to open next year, the 120,000-sq-ft facility will collaborate with University of Dayton researchers on advanced computer modeling, simulation, and analysis of advanced, dynamic electric power systems and controls.

Other projects include a multi-year, $100-million renovation at GE Aviation’s Evendale, Ohio, headquarters, while plans call for its airfoil-manufacturing facility in Greenville, South Carolina, to add 100 jobs between 2010 and 2013. Finally, at the GE Aviation Flight Test Operation in Victorville, California, a newly acquired Boeing 747-400 is undergoing a $60 million refurbishment and conversion to serve as a flying testbed.