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12/11/2017 | 1 MINUTE READ

Spirit AeroSystems plans major expansion

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The company will add 1,000 new jobs with the majority in the hourly ranks, including skilled sheet metal mechanics, composite technicians and CNC machine operators.

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Spirit AeroSystems announced plans for major expansion and growth, including the addition of 1,000 jobs and capital investments totaling $1 billion over the next five years at its Wichita, Kan., facility. The growth is driven by number of factors: increasing production rates on existing commercial aircraft programs, growth in Spirit's fabrication and defense businesses and other new business pursuits. The majority of the new job creation will be in the hourly ranks, including skilled sheet metal mechanics, composite technicians and CNC machine operators.

"Wichita is our headquarters and the hub of our operations," says Spirit President and CEO Tom Gentile. "Our workforce is unparalleled, with generations of aircraft employees who have worked in our plant. And now future generations will have those same opportunities. We are proud to partner with the city, county and state to bring new jobs and investment to the community and help ensure Wichita remains the Air Capital of the World."

The memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the city and Sedgwick County includes joint investment in a new building to be constructed on the north side of Spirit's property. The completion of the transactions contemplated by the MOU is contingent on approval by the Wichita City Council and the Sedgwick County Commission and the execution of definitive agreements between the parties.

"We are excited to work with Spirit on this project for our community. It's a tremendous win for Sedgwick County and all of us in south-central Kansas, including the dozens of aviation suppliers here," says Sedgwick County Commission Chairman Dave Unruh. "It is further validation of the county's investment in the National Center for Aviation Training more than a decade ago as this community is uniquely equipped to help Spirit tackle the demands for a ramp-up of this magnitude."

"Spirit is a global company with sites across the world, and we will continue to grow where it makes sense for the business. We have deep roots in Wichita, and we are here for the long-haul," Gentile says.

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