On Tuesday, Governor Robert Bentley met with Huntsville leaders and GE company officials as he announced GE Aviation bringing new jobs to Huntsville.
Madison County currently receives a big economic boost from two of its largest manufacturing plants.
With the announcement of two new GE plants coming to the area, we wanted to know if the companies live up to their word of provides jobs for local residents.
Huntsville’s Toyota and Remington Manufacturing Plants appear to be making good on their promises for creating jobs.
Toyota Manufacturing Plant projected 300 jobs before it opened its’ doors in 2003.
It has ramped up its engine production and expanded four times in the past 12 years, hiring a total of 1,360 people.
As for Remington, the gun manufacturer, has only been operating in Huntsville for less than a year. The company promised 2,000 jobs in the next ten years.
City leaders say so far the gunmaker is on track and has hired more than 300 people and will bring hundreds more on board in the new year.
Economist Tom Pieplow, says city leaders can bank on manufacturing plants for stable jobs.
“Being the more stable of the jobs, they are going to provide the longer term benefits to the employees where they can make longer term decisions like doing things like investing in buying a new house, a car, things like that,” said Pieplow.
Pieplow says manufacturing plants also attracts other businesses like retail stores and restaurants.
During his press conference at the Old House Chamber in Montgomery, Bentley said GE Aviation is investing more than $200 million to create adjacent factories in Huntsville to mass-produce silicon carbide materials.
These materials will be used to manufacture ceramic matrix composite components for jet engines and land-based gas turbines. When the factories are operational later this decade, they are expected to employ up to 300 people. They will be located in Limestone County off Greenbrier Road near Interstate 65.
Huntsville Mayor, Tommy Battle, Madison County Commissioner Dale Strong’s office and the office of Limestone County Chairman Mark Yarbrough all attended the announcement in Montgomery.
“We are honored that GE Aviation has chosen Huntsville for an advanced technology manufacturing operation to produce silicon carbide materials for commercial and military engines,” Governor Robert Bentley said. “Today’s announcement is important because Alabama is expanding our partnership with a global aviation leader. We have prioritized advanced manufacturing in aerospace and aviation, and I appreciate the investment by GE Aviation in this new Huntsville operation.”
One plant will produce silicon carbide ceramic fiber, which will be the first such operation in the United States. The adjacent GE factory will use the silicon carbide ceramic fiber to produce the unidirectional ceramic matrix composite tape necessary to fabricate ceramic matrix composite components.
Construction of the two plants will begin around mid-2016, with full completion by the first half of 2018. Production begins in 2018 and GE has already begun hiring the technical team that will transfer to the Huntsville operation.
GE expects to begin hiring the hourly workforce in late 2016.
In 2010, GE Aviation planned to build a new plant in Alabama, that would build a coatings plant for military jet engines.