12/10/17 — Spirit AeroSystems announces $55.7 million expansion in Kinston

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Spirit AeroSystems announces $55.7 million expansion in Kinston

By Rochelle Moore
Published in News on December 10, 2017 3:05 AM

Spirit AeroSystems, one of the world's largest independent suppliers of airplane parts, announced plans to expand its operations and invest $55.7 million its N.C. Global TransPark facility in Kinston.

Gov. Roy Cooper said the investment is a boost for eastern North Carolina and the state's aerospace industry.

"We are excited to see Spirit AeroSystems strengthen its investment in North Carolina with this major expansion," Cooper said. "This sends a clear signal that eastern North Carolina can compete for business and is ready for new opportunities that bring jobs to this region."

The investment, which will take place during the next five years, involves increasing and expanding product lines within the company's facility in the Global TransPark, said Allen Thomas, Global TransPark executive director.

Spirit AeroSystems employs close to 850 people from 22 counties at its 500,000-square-foot manufacturing plant and 33,000-square-foot training center. A specific number of additional jobs has not been identified by company officials.

"Spirit is honored to be part of the Lenoir County community, and we are thrilled to partner with the county on this project to increase our investment in our North Carolina site," said Terry George, vice president and general manager of Spirit's North Carolina Operations. "As we further invest in our site to meet the needs of our customer, we will be creating opportunities to support job growth and positively contribute to the regional economy.

"This projected future capital investment will improve our capacity to deliver world-class aerostructures."

Spirit AeroSystems designs and builds aircraft components, including fuselages, pylons, nacelles and wing components for the world's premier aircraft, and is best known for building the center fuselage for the Airbus A350, a long-range, twin-engine, wide-body jet airliner from the Kinston facility, Thomas said.

The company will receive a performance-based grant from Lenoir County of up to nearly $1.47 million for the expansion project.

Thomas said the company's plans further strengthen its presence in the Global TransPark and region. Nearly 1,350 people from 22 counties, including Wayne, work within the 2,500-acre TransPark, where a dozen companies and public agencies are located.

"This expansion further reinforces North Carolina's position as one of the top four states in aerospace manufacturing in the nation and sends a message to the high quality of skilled labor in eastern North Carolina," Thomas said.