GE Aviation makes it official, groundbreaking in June

Photo shows GE Aviation President and CEO David Doyle as he makes the announcement of building a jet engine plant in Lafayette, Ind. at Purdue University Airport on Wednesday, March 26, 2014. (WLFI Photo)
Photo shows GE Aviation President and CEO David Doyle as he makes the announcement of building a jet engine plant in Lafayette, Ind. at Purdue University Airport on Wednesday, March 26, 2014. (WLFI Photo)

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) – A $100 million dollar investment, a 225,000 square foot facility, and 200 jobs are coming to Lafayette after GE Aviation announced plans to build a jet engine assembly plant.

After searching for more than a year, GE Aviation has decided to build their next plant in Lafayette. The new plant will bring more than 200 high-paying jobs.

The plant will be built just south of Nanshan on U.S. 52, at Lot 350. Groundbreaking for the jet engine assembly plant will be in June. GE Aviation officials say they are in a hurry to get production going, even though they took their time deciding on where to put the plant.

“Lafayette, Ind. came out as number one in a very, very, very aggressive race around the country as to where we wanted to put this,” said David Joyce, President and CEO of GE Aviation.

Joyce says the company is in a hurry to get production of the Leading Edge Aviation Propulsion, or LEAP, engine started at the plant.

“We go into service in 2016. We have to have this plant up and operational and shipping product by 2016,” Joyce said.

The LEAP engine will replace the CFM 56 engine in 2016 and already has 6,000 orders. Joyce says the LEAP is more quiet, fuel efficient and environmentally friendly compared to the CFM.

Lafayette Mayor Tony Roswarski calls Wednesday’s announcement a game changer because it brings 200 high-skilled, well paying jobs to our community.

“When you can create jobs that pay almost $75,000 a year, those are tremendous paying jobs in our community, so we’re going to work very hard to make them successful,” Roswarski said.

Indiana was one of six states being considered for the job. Joyce says they work with the state, then they look at the community.

“We’re really big on being close to significant higher education which allows training programs for our people as well as us to collaborate on advancements in technology at the sites and facilities we use,” said Joyce.

“Will we have competition for great people? Or will we be able to hold on and retain our people? Does the value of a GE job mean something to the community?” Joyce said.

“It was the community that helped sell this project. Our work ethic here, our labor force here, [and] the type of amenities we have,” Roswarski added.

David Joyce expects job applications to open after the groundbreaking in June. He says the company will start hiring in 2015, with all positions being filled by 2020.

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