March 26, 2014
LAFAYETTE, Ind. (March 26, 2014) – 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 in training grants based on the company’s job creation plans. These incentives are performance-based, meaning until Hoosiers are hired, the company is not eligible to claim incentives. In addition, the IEDC will provide the community with up to $1,350,000 in infrastructure assistance from the state’s Industrial Development Grant Fund. The city of Lafayette and Tippecanoe County will consider additional incentives at the request of the Greater Lafayette Commerce.
“History is being made today as we welcome GE Aviation to the Lafayette community,” said Lafayette Mayor Tony Roswarski. “We are proud to be part of a team that is helping to bring the next generation of commercial aircraft engines for the future of global air transportation. The LEAP engine assembly plant and Lafayette will be at the forefront of aviation engine technology. But just as important for the Lafayette community is the substantial investment GE is making in a state of the art manufacturing facility that will create up to 200 high paying jobs – jobs that comfortably support a family and add to our quality of life – that was a top priority of mine.”
The Lafayette facility will be GE’s fifth location in Indiana. The company employs nearly 1,700 Hoosiers across the state, including Fort Wayne, Bloomington, Terre Haute and Connersville. In addition, GE spends more than $440 million with suppliers in Indiana, helping support 1,500 supplier jobs in the state.
“Tippecanoe County eagerly welcomes GE Aviation, the fourth company to choose Park 350 for a significant industrial investment,” said Tippecanoe County Commissioner John Knochel. “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, Ind.’ stamp, and supply it to commercial aircraft manufacturers around the world.”
Today’s announcement comes on the heels of a long list of legislative achievements realized during the Indiana General Assembly’s 2014 session, continuing to enhance Indiana’s reputation as a state that works for business. Under Governor Pence’s leadership, Indiana reformed taxes to encourage new job growth, including placing the corporate income tax on a reduction schedule, ultimately falling to 4.9 percent. Local communities now also have an enhanced abatement tool and the ability to provide further property tax relief to small businesses.