GE Aviation groundbreaking kicks off construction

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — A groundbreaking ceremony Monday at GE Aviation is kicking off construction of the $100 million investment.

When the announcement was made in March, crews received approval to begin planning construction at the site of GE Aviation. The plant site is just south of Nanshan on U.S. 52, at Lot 350.

“This is a big day because this means it’s really happening,” Lafayette Mayor Tony Roswarski said.

Construction project manager Eric Matteson said the plant is in the design phase and crews hope to move ground Aug. 11.

“Construction will go really, really quick,” Matteson said. “We want to get it dried in before the winter arrives. We’ll start moving equipment into the building in May, and we’ll starting putting technicians in to start setting up the facility as early as October.”

Matteson will be involved with the company once the plant is complete and said the first Leading Edge Aviation Propulsion, or LEAP, engine will roll off the line in 2016.

“We’ll grow to about 200 people somewhere around 2019. We’ll have to produce about four engines a day,” Matteson said.

Roswarski said the facility will attract people from around the world.

“From people buying engines, to looking at the plant, to sales people every month, there will be people from around the globe coming to Lafayette,” Roswarski said.

He said with a company like GE Aviation choosing Lafayette to do business, other companies will follow.

“There’s no greater marketing then to have a corporation tell another corporation,” Roswarski said. “We can tell them, but when they hear it privately from somebody like GE saying Lafayette — Tippecanoe County, Indiana — is a great place to do business. That’s very impactful.”

GE Aviation is set to start hiring in 2015. Details about how to apply have not been released yet.

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