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GE Aviation adding jobs

BATESVILLE — GE Aviation is expanding its operation in Batesville, which produces composite components for the GEnx jet engine that will power Boeing’s new 787 and 747-8 aircraft. With the expansion, GE Aviation will add an additional 350 jobs over the next few years. The facility currently employs more than 100 employees.

“Our Batesville operation is involved in some of the most advanced manufacturing processes in the aviation industry,” said Jeanne Edwards, GE’s plant leader in Batesville. “Also, GE is very fortunate to have a strong order book for its new GEnx engine. Many of the technology advantages inherent in the GEnx engine are linked directly to the components produced in Batesville.”

The expansion will represent a company investment of approximately $85 million. The Mississippi Development Authority provided $8.6 million in Momentum Mississippi incentives to assist with this project. In addition, Panola County provided $4 million to assist with the expansion.

GE Aviation partnered with Mississippi State University’s Raspet Flight Research Laboratory to demonstrate the capabilities necessary for producing composite fan platforms in 2006. In 2007, the company announced it would locate a new manufacturing facility in the state. After its Batesville facility was completed in 2008, the company began production of these components there.

In June of this year, GE Aviation announced a new research partnership with the University of Southern Mississippi in which researchers from both the company and the university are working together on technologies related to composite panels, which will also be produced in Batesville.

“Mississippi is rapidly becoming known as a center for composite materials and technologies,” said Gray Swoope, executive director of the Mississippi Development Authority. “I am proud that GE Aviation is utilizing our available resources and developing these materials and processes here in Mississippi, and I am pleased the company is working with Mississippi universities to further refine these technologies.”

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