By: Larry Avila
GREENVILLE — Orders for more than 200 of its top-of-the-line luxury G650 business jets means job growth for Gulfstream at Outagamie County Regional Airport.
The Savannah, Ga.-based subsidary of General Dynamics announced Thursday it will add 100 jobs, mostly in areas of purchasing and engineering, at its Greenville operations over the next 90 days. The company employs about 725 people in Greenville today.
“We’re starting to ramp up production of the G650 and that’s part of the reason why we’re doing this hiring,” said Heidi Fedak, a spokeswoman for Gulfstream.
Gulfstream’s G650 was introduced in 2008. It has a base price of about $58 million.
Fedak said orders for the G650 are backlogged into 2017. Gulfstream delivered its first G650 in December and to fill orders it needs workers.
Gulfstream’s Greenville facility performs completions or finishing and service work. This includes design, selection and installation of the cabin configuration and layout, furniture, seats, carpets and sidewall treatments, entertainment and communication systems, and galley and lavatory fixtures.
Fedak said Gulfstream has 11 other facilities where it performs similar work that it does in Greenville.
Planes also are painted in Greenville and Gulfstream jets now in use also are serviced and refurbished at the facility. It occupies about 275,000 square feet of hangar, shop and support space at Outagamie County Regional Airport.
Airport Director Marty Lenss said Gulfstream is the airport’s largest tenant. Gulfstream moved in after Midwest Airlines, which evolved from Kimberly-Clark Corp.’s corporate jet service, relocated to Milwaukee.
Lenss said the additional Gulfstream jobs not only is good for the airport but for the Fox Cities.
“When you look at the overall economic impact this will have, these are primary jobs that will bring new dollars into the community,” he said. “The real benefit is that these jobs are family supporting and good paying.”
Lenss said it likely also will mean more people entering the aviation maintenance program at Fox Valley Technical College, which has had a long training relationship with Gulfstream.
“For Gulfstream, it’s especially important to have a well-trained workforce,” he said. “As long as they have a source to get people trained, it will allow them to keep growing here.”
Lenss said Gulfstream’s decision to expand in Greenville could lead to future growth for the airport.
“If Gulfstream keeps growing, it could mean more things to come,” he said.