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Governor Sonny Perdue joined company officials today in Savannah to announce that Gulfstream Aerospace is expanding its operations in Savannah, adding more than 1,000 jobs and investing at least $500 million.
“A company like Gulfstream would be welcomed anywhere in the world, so we are proud they have chosen to expand right here in Georgia,” said Governor Perdue. “Gulfstream’s plan for growth will have a significant, statewide impact on Georgia’s economy.”
Gulfstream is expanding its Savannah operation to facilities at the Savannah-Hilton Head International Airport and will renovate several existing facilities on its main campus. The company will also expand its offices and laboratories at the Gulfstream Research and Development Center in Crossroads Business Park. This will be Gulfstream’s second major expansion in the last five years.
“This expansion is necessary to meet the industry’s projected increase for new business-jet aircraft and the maintenance that will follow,” said Joe Lombardo, president of Gulfstream. “The effect this initiative will have is very simple. It’s good, high-tech jobs for Georgia. Jobs for Gulfstream Aerospace. And jobs for general aviation, a vital aspect of this nation’s industrial base.”
Gulfstream, a native Georgia company whose headquarters has been located in Savannah since 1967, currently employs approximately 5,500 workers and manufactures the Gulfstream G650, G550, G450 and G350. The Savannah operation also includes the largest of the company’s five final-phase manufacturing facilities and the largest of its 10 service centers.
Gulfstream has already begun hiring for the expansion. Training support for this expansion includes the state’s commitment of Quick Start program resources to assist in building job skills required for the available positions. Gulfstream also has cooperative relationships with several local educational institutions, including Savannah Technical College, in support of its commitment to the community.
In 2009, the company completed a $300 million expansion it announced in 2006. The project included the largest general aviation aircraft maintenance facility in the world, along with manufacturing, paint and R&D facilities. Gulfstream hired 1,100 new employees as part of that expansion. A number of those employees were trained at Savannah Technical College on programs specifically tailored for Gulfstream’s employment needs. Savannah Tech is constructing its own building to house its aerospace training programs.
“Gulfstream is promoting a new era of U.S. manufacturing that can’t be easily replicated, further positioning our community and the state for continued growth on an international level. And, not too many people would argue that Gulfstream, with their superb product lines, isn’t just competing globally, but winning,” remarked Savannah Economic Development Authority (SEDA) Senior Vice President Lynn Pitts. “Gulfstream is a first-class corporate citizen all the way around, and Savannah and this community are fortunate to continue to be their first choice for their headquarters and operations. It is a true testament to the assets of this area, one of the greatest of which is our workforce.”
SEDA was joined on the project by the Georgia Department of Economic Development, represented by Statewide Project Manager Chris Pumphrey.