Spirit AeroSystems has announced plans for major expansion and growth, including the addition of 1,000 jobs and capital investments totalling $1 billion over the next five years at its Wichita, Kansas, facility.
The growth is fuelled by a number of factors: increasing production rates on existing commercial aircraft programs, growth in Spirit’s Fabrication and Defence businesses and other new business pursuits. The announcement solidifies Spirit’s presence in Wichita and Kansas for decades to come.
“Wichita is our headquarters and the hub of our operations,” said Spirit president and CEO, Tom Gentile (pictured). “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.
The majority of the new job creation will be in the hourly ranks, including skilled sheetmetal mechanics, composite technicians and CNC machine operators.
“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 said.