The latest jewel for the state’s burgeoning aerospace industry is now operational in LaPorte County. Alcoa Inc.’s (NYSE: AA) $100 million, facility is expected to create nearly 330 jobs in the northwest Indiana city by 2019. The Indiana Economic Development Corp. says the company’s commitment is part of a string of aerospace investments that total more than $900 million and involve 1,200 job commitments. The deals include big names like BAE Systems, Raytheon, Rolls-Royce and GE Aviation.
Lieutenant Governor Sue Ellspermann joined city and company officials this morning to dedicate the La Porte expansion.
In addition to the existing La Porte Howmet facility, Alcoa has locations in Lafayette and Evansville, which together employ more 3,200 Hoosiers.
Educational institutions are also riding along on the upswing in aerospace activity. In the last two years, GE Aviation has detailed partnerships with Purdue University, the University of Notre Dame, Indiana University Kelley School of Business, Ivy Tech Community College and others throughout the state to enhance training programs. These efforts will support new facilities like the $100 million LEAP engine plant in Lafayette and the $36 million Notre Dame Turbomachinery research and testing facility at South Bend’s Ignition Park.
The Indiana Aerospace & Defense Council says the new Alcoa jobs are part of an industry that pays an average of approximately $89,000 a year, well above the state average.
Schellinger says he’s confident the kind of highly-skilled workers are available to meet the demands of these technical positions.