Auburn officially welcomes G.E. Aviation plant

Posted by Cody Holyoke - bio | email

AUBURN, AL (WSFA) - The City of Auburn officially has a new resident: one of the largest companies in the country.

In November, General Electric announced plans to build a manufacturing plant in Auburn.

Monday, company reps and state leaders made the move official.

"We intend to do something that doesn't exist anywhere. That's why we needed a new facility to do it in," said GE Aviation's Russell Sparks.

The company hopes to set new standards in the industry, developing coatings for military jet engine parts and creating 300 to 400 jobs when the facility opens.

"Jobs are on the forefront of everybody's thinking these days, and these will be really good jobs," said Auburn mayor Bill Ham.

The announcement means a big boost for the economy and education. GE's hoping to use a partnership with Auburn University's engineering school to reach new heights.

"Make no mistake about it: the manufacturing technology that goes into these engines really is some of the most sophisticated stuff in the world," Sparks said.

With hundreds of jobs on the way--and a 50 year commitment--city leaders and residents are optimistic about the newfound partnership.

"Obviously this is something good for auburn, increasing the jobs in this period where the economic crisis is hitting everybody," said Christian Cira of Auburn.

"I think this is just the first chapter in what could really become a technology area that we're not involved in," Ham explained.

GE Aviation hopes to start construction on the state-of-the-art facility next year and open in 2012.

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