‘Game changer’ GE Aviation not among 30 largest employers

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)

TIPPECANOE CO., Ind. (WLFI) – The new GE Aviation facility coming to Tippecanoe County was announced with great fanfare last week. With words like “game changer” tossed around, it is expected to have a noticeable effect on the community. But with a business that won’t rank in the county’s 30 largest, it appears the impact may be greatest in terms of size of employee salary, not size of workforce.

“It really is the game changer we’ve been looking for,” said Greater Lafayette Commerce President Joe Seaman on March 26.

“Game changer” has been the buzzword for county leaders in describing plans for the new GE Aviation plant coming to Tippecanoe County.

By its size, it may not be as much as you think.

When the facility is fully operational, with 200 employees, it will be the county’s 33rd largest employer, tying several others. That’s according to data from Greater Lafayette Commerce which currently lists 37 employers with 200 or more employees in the county.

Purdue leads the way with 15,304 employees, which is more than the combined workforces of the county’s 16 next largest employers.

In terms of annual salary, GE Aviation’s announced $75,000 average wage is in the top nine percent of earnings for county residents according to Indiana’s Division of Workforce Development.

That’s 52 percent better than the county’s average earnings of $49,233. Though to put that in perspective, according to the Purdue salary database, 1,617 faculty at Purdue’s West Lafayette campus were paid more than $75,000 last year. In other words, a figure that is eight times the size of the GE Aviation plant.

To view the list of Tippecanoe County’s employers with 200 or more employees and see their sales figures, click here.

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