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GE Aviation celebrates grand opening of airfoils factory in Greenville, South Carolina

Joined by South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford, U.S. Representative Bob Inglis and many other South Carolina officials, GE Aviation celebrated the grand opening of its Greenville facility at its new location on April 19. The business confirmed its commitment to the state of South Carolina with plans to add 100 jobs by 2013 and invest $30 million in the new facility.

The $30 million investment covers new equipment for the 150,000-square-foot facility located in the Matrix Industrial Park. The GE Aviation Greenville facility produces high-pressure turbine (HPT) blades for commercial aircraft engines produced by GE Aviation and used to power many Boeing and Airbus aircraft. The company currently employs more than 140 people at the site and plans to add another 100 employees by 2013 as it expands the site's capabilities to include coating technologies.

The new technologies in the facility will enable GE Aviation to reduce production time for turbine blades by 50 percent (from about 15 days to one week) and boost its production capacity. The productivity improvement will help the site handle volume growth that is expected to increase by approximately 40 percent at the Greenville facility this year.

Since announcing plans in 2009 to relocate its Greenville facility, GE has worked closely with the Greenville County Council and the South Carolina Department of Commerce.

"GE Aviation is proud to be a part of economic development in the state of South Carolina," said Scott Ernest, vice president and general manager of GE Aviation's Supply Chain. "The facility continues to ramp up production and will produce 350,000 high pressure turbine blades this year."

"GE Aviation's decision to make a substantial capital and jobs investment in our state is a telling reminder of South Carolina's growing role as a hub for the aerospace industry. As well, this grand opening is significant as GE continues to grow its footprint in our state - with investments already in Florence, Charleston and Greenville," said Gov. Mark Sanford. "We recognize that GE had a world of choices when choosing where to expand, and we thank GE and applaud the efforts of Commerce and the local economic development team for making today's grand opening possible."

"An investment of this magnitude is a huge vote of confidence in our state workforce. With the expanded aviation capabilities of this facility, GE Aviation's presence in South Carolina becomes even more meaningful. Our state is once again glad to partner with General Electric - one of the brand name, premier companies in the world. We look forward to continuing a long and productive relationship with GE in the years ahead," said U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham.

"GE Aviation has been a vital presence in Greenville for years, but this expansion will bring exciting new innovations and new jobs to our state. I recently had the opportunity to tour the new facility and meet with management and workers, and I was incredibly impressed by their vision for the future in South Carolina. GE Aviation is a world leader in its industry, and its growth in our state is another step in establishing South Carolina as the home of the most advanced aviation technology and confirming our reputation as one of the best places in the world to do business," said U.S. Senator Jim DeMint.

"With this exciting announcement, GE says 'Yes!' to the Upstate yet again. And we say 'Yes!' to GE--'Yes!' to more jobs, 'Yes!' to fabulous products, 'Yes!' to world-wide leadership in entrepreneurial spirit," said U.S. Representative Bob Inglis.

"We're very proud of GE Aviation's new operation at the Matrix Business Park in Greenville County," noted H.G. "Butch" Kirven Jr., director of the Greenville Area Development Corporation and chairman of Greenville County Council. "And with still more room to expand here, GE Aviation represents the type of high quality and innovative enterprise that offers great opportunity for local citizens. This demonstrates that Greenville County has what it takes for great companies to be competitive here."

Press release issued by GE Aircraft Engines on April 21, 2010


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