TULSA, Okla. — Three hundred new jobs are opening in Tulsa, and the employer tells FOX23, they are not temporary.
Tulsa-based aircraft part manufacturer The NORDAM Group competed and won a contract from engine maker Pratt and Whitney Canada back in 2010, and now they are ready to fulfill it.
“It took a long time to come to fruition, and it was a confidential program. It’s now been finally announced,” said NORDAM CEO Meredith Seigfried.
For most of its history, NORDAM has focused on small private jet parts, but the new contract and workforce expansion allows the company to move to larger private business jet engines. The new jobs are mainly mechanics, engineers and technicians.
80 employees have already been hired, and the 220 jobs that remain will be fulfilled over the next few years, Seigried told FOX23.
NORDAM is installing engine cowlings and a state-of-the-art thrust reverser system, essentially finishing the engine before it is put on the plane. The cowlings and reverser are made of a new composite material that will be light-weight, and in the end, will help reduce the use of fuel on the jets they will go on.
“I would call it a game changer for us,” said John Clawson, Vice President of NORDAM’s trust reverser division. “Because the weight that it saves, it is a significant amount of weight savings for the aircraft. It is definitely a game changer in the technology and the efficiency of the structure.”
Once complete, the finished engines will be shipped from Tulsa to aircraft manufacturer Gulfstream to be used on the G500 and G600 aircraft. Right now, the two planes are in conceptual phases and will enter into service around 2017 and 2019. NORDAM has the contract to build the cowlings and reverser system for the life of the G500 and G600, which means the 300 new jobs are long-term as long as the planes are being produced, Seigfried said.
“It is the biggest event that has taken place in our history,” she said. “It will add 30 percent to our top line when we’re at rate production. So it is just awesome, and adding 300 people is what we want to do.”
On Tuesday FOX23 reported tool company Hilti was downsizing its Tulsa operations and taking 250 jobs south to Plano, Texas. Between Hilti’s downsizing and NORDAM’s annoucement, Tulsa will have a net gain of nearly 50 jobs once both companies have all of their plans in place.
NORDAM is headquartered in Tulsa and employs 2,500 people across nine facilities on three continents.
President and CEO of the Tulsa Regional Chamber Mike Neal released the following statement about the announcement:
“NORDAM is one of Tulsa’s most treasured headquartered companies, and we’re ecstatic to learn the building of the integrated powerplant system for Pratt & Whitney Canada engines will take place right here in Tulsa. Our region’s skilled aerospace workforce is one of our region’s most valued assets. In addition to positively impacting 300 Tulsa area families directly, these new jobs will indirectly bring an additional 566 jobs to the region, providing a total economic impact to northeast Oklahoma of more than $77.7 million annually. Today’s announcement is a win for NORDAM, a win for Tulsa and a win for all of Oklahoma. Congratulations to NORDAM CEO Meredith Siegfried, the NORDAM leadership team and all current and future employees of the company.”
Governor Mary Fallin also celebrate the new jobs and stated the following in a statement to FOX23:
“The aerospace industry in Oklahoma continues to expand, underscored today by NORDAM’s announcement regarding its partnership with Pratt & Whitney Canada and Gulfstream which will create 300 new jobs at its facilities in Tulsa. NORDAM is an Oklahoma-founded company that has grown to become a global leader in aerospace. Still managed by Oklahomans, the company is not only a major asset to Tulsa but to our entire state.
“NORDAM’s consistent success is a reflection on Oklahoma’s pro-business climate and our ability as a state to provide a highly skilled workforce able to meet the challenges of the ever-evolving aerospace industry. My congratulations go out to Meredith Siegfried, her management team, and all NORDAM employees for their continued success in Oklahoma.”