The mayor of West Lafayette believes GE Aviation's decision to locate a jet engine plant in Tippecanoe County is a strong example of bipartisan cooperation. John Dennis, who is a Republican, says the facility will be a huge positive for his city even though it will be built in Lafayette, which has a Democrat mayor. Dennis also says the announcement enhances the economic value of Lafayette, West Lafayette and Tippecanoe County, while giving Purdue University graduates more opportunities to stay in the area. GE Aviation has confirmed it will build a $100 million manufacturing operation with plans to hire 200 workers by 2020. March 26, 2014
LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Wednesday's announcement that GE Aviation would build a $92 million aircraft engine assembly plant in Park 350 on Lafayette's south side was the culmination of several groups spending months working together, said Jody Hamilton, director of economic development at Greater Lafayette Commerce’s, the community's economic development organization.
“Once again, our ability to come together, to share our strengths and to work well together landed us a win,” she said. “With five states on the target list, we rolled out the Lafayette welcome mat, collectively expressing our interest and commitment.”
Those involved included representatives from GE Aviation, the city of Lafayette, Tippecanoe County, state of Indiana, Greater Lafayette Commerce, Purdue University and Ivy Tech Community College – Lafayette, she said.
For Lafayette mayor Tony Roswarski, news that the company would employ 200 by 2020 – and pay top wages – was especially gratifying. “These are jobs that can comfortably support a family, and that is a top priority of mine. By raising the median income, families can improve their quality of life.”
Equally impressive, he said, is the product they'll assemble – a leading edge aviation propulsion (LEAP) engine, developed by CFM International, a joint company of General Electric and Snecma (SAFRAN) of France to power narrow-body, single-aisle aircraft, including the Airbus A320 neo, Boeing 737 MAX and Chinca's COMAC C919 aircraft. The first deliveries to the market, which represents about 70 percent of new aircraft sales expected in the next 20 years, are slated for 2016.
Among the engine's benefits are lower fuel consumption, reduced emissions, easier maintenance and compliance with pending noise-reduction regulations. The company already has orders from about 5,000 of the engines, said Roswarski, who spoke at the news conference at Purdue Airport.
Another important aspect, Roswarski said, is the substantial investment GE is making here.
“This will be a world-class facility, being built exclusively for assembly of the LEAP engine,” Roswarski said. “History is being made today as we welcome GE Aviation to the Lafayette community. We are proud to be part of a team that is helping bring the next generation of commercial aircraft engines here. This is an iconic American company, and the Lafayette plant will be at the forefront of aviation engine technology. It will put Lafayette on the map in a way we haven’t been before.”
Tippecanoe County Commissioner John Knochel, who also spoke at the news conference, hailed the company’s choice of location within the county.
“Tippecanoe County eagerly welcomes GE Aviation, the fourth company to choose Park 350 for a significant industrial investment,” Knochel said. “This is a company already renowned for successfully setting its sight on the future in global reach and technological advances. Now, it will pioneer an all-new aircraft engine with a 'made in Lafayette, Indiana' stamp, and supply it to commercial aircraft manufacturers around the world.”
GE Aviation will occupy about 60 acres in the 300-acre industrial park, in a 150,000-square-foot facility to be built south of the Nanshan America Advanced Aluminum Technologies plant. Other park occupants are Heartland Automotive, Warehouse of Lafayette facility and, under construction, Fed Ex Ground Transportation.
Knochel also noted the high-tech features of the LEAP engine, which is the first ever to use 3D manufactured parts.
Hamilton mentioned the importance of a community having a wide variety of industries, which contributes to stable and growing, employment.
“GE Aviation expands the diversity of our employment base, which is always a plus,” Hamilton said. “We already have a wide cross section of both advanced manufacturing and knowledge-based businesses, and GE Aviation's decision now expands that even more. That bodes well for our economic vitality.”
About Greater Lafayette Commerce
Headquartered at 337 Columbia St. in Lafayette, Greater Lafayette Commerce (www.greaterlafayettecommerce.com), whose roots go back more than 85 years, is a nonprofit membership organization supported by local businesses, industries and governments. Its mission is to advance economic and community prosperity for a superior quality of life.
Source: Greater Lafayette Commerce
LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Governor Mike Pence joined David Joyce, president and chief executive officer of GE Aviation, the world's largest jet engine manufacturer, today to announce the company's plans to locate a new $100 million jet engine assembly facility here, creating up to 200 new jobs by 2020.
“With a nod to our past and an eye on our future, Indiana is charting a path forward,” said Pence. “Indiana is a manufacturing state, with decades of experience in building the items that power our world. But we are also a state of innovation, developing the technologies of tomorrow. GE Aviation's plans in Indiana fuse the two. By selecting Indiana for its new jet engine facility, the company gains a workforce skilled at both developing the big ideas and bringing them to life. From jet engines to medical breakthroughs, companies launch the next wave of new technologies in Indiana, confident that in a state that works, the sky is the limit.”
The 225,000 square-foot Lafayette facility, the company's first final assembly plant in Indiana, will assemble the new LEAP engine from CFM International, a 50/50 joint company of GE and Snecma (Safran) of France. CFM, which will enter service in 2016, has already logged total orders and commitments with airlines for more than 6,000 LEAP jet engines. It will power new Airbus A320neo, Boeing 737 MAX and COMAC (China) C919 aircraft for airlines worldwide.
Launched in 2008, the LEAP is now undergoing development testing. As the engine transitions to the production phase, GE could begin hiring at the new Lafayette facility as early as 2015. Within five years, the plant’s workforce is expected to exceed 200 people with the capacity to do final assembly for the engine as well as the engine’s hot section (compressor, combustor and high pressure turbine). The new jobs are expected to pay an average wage of $36 an hour, which includes both hourly and salaried positions.
“We are thrilled by the airline industry's enthusiasm for the new LEAP engine and its ground-breaking technologies,” said Joyce, president and chief executive officer of GE Aviation. “Beginning in 2015, the LEAP engine will experience a dramatic production ramp-up for the remainder of the decade. We are grateful to the entire Indiana team in ensuring that our Lafayette assembly plant will soon be up and running.”
Final assembly of the LEAP engine at the Lafayette facility will involve using components and sub-assemblies from GE and Snecma operations, as well as from their suppliers around the world. The facility will operate a highly advanced assembly line incorporating several new technologies, including automated vision inspection systems and radio frequency parts management to easily spot parts on the shop floor.
The Indiana Economic Development Corporation offered General Electric Aviation up to $3,300,000 in conditional tax credits and up to $332,000 i