DEO Press Releases

Gov. Scott Announces GKN Aerospace to Open First Florida Location in Bay County

Feb 15, 2017

New Manufacturing Facility Will Create 170 New Jobs

BAY COUNTY, Fla. – Today, Governor Rick Scott announced that GKN Aerospace will be opening their first location in Florida. The company will be expanding their U.S. operations by locating a new manufacturing facility in Bay County which will create 170 new jobs and invest more than $50 million in the local community. Governor Scott previously met with GKN Aerospace officials during a trade mission to the Farnborough International Air Show in London with Enterprise Florida last summer. The company is one of the world’s largest suppliers to the international aviation industry.

Governor Scott said, “I am proud to announce that GKN Aerospace has chosen Florida to open their new manufacturing facility. GKN is a global company, and I was proud to meet with them during the Farnborough International Air Show last summer to encourage the company to grow in Florida. Thanks to our efforts to cut taxes and reduce burdensome regulations, combined with the hard work of Enterprise Florida and local economic development organizations, GKN will be creating 170 new jobs for families in Bay County. I look forward to seeing their future success in Florida.”

The new facility will be located at VentureCrossings near Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport. With over 100 years of experience, GKN Aerospace uses advanced manufacturing technologies to supply high-value, integrated assemblies in both metallic and composite materials to the aviation industry. GKN Aerospace employs approximately 17,000 people in more than 60 locations across three continents.

Mike Grunza, CEO of GKN Aerospace’s Aerostructures North America business said, “This investment emphasizes our commitment to manufacturing in North America, as this new world-class facility will create jobs and strengthen our competitive position in the US aerospace market for the future. The excellent support we have received from Bay County EDA, Governor Rick Scott’s office, higher educational partners and The St. Joe Company made Florida an ideal location for GKN.”

Senator George Gainer said, “This project is an excellent example of how our focused economic development recruitment efforts are helping to create good jobs for the citizens of Bay County and the entire Northwest Florida region.”

Chris Hart IV, CEO and President of Enterprise Florida, Inc., said, “Thanks to global leaders like GKN Aerospace, Florida continues to be the world’s premier gateway to space. GKN is a perfect fit for Bay County and the highly skilled aerospace and manufacturing workforce there. More than 85,000 Floridians work in the aviation and aerospace industries statewide and the state’s universities are among the nation’s top producers of STEM graduates. We thank GKN for choosing Florida and look forward to watching them grow here.”

Cissy Proctor, Executive Director of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, said, “GKN Aerospace’s expansion in Northwest Florida highlights our state’s growing aerospace manufacturing industry, which provides thousands of high-skill, high-wage opportunities for Floridians. Because of Governor Scott’s commitment to tax cuts, Florida is a competitive place for manufacturers like GKN to succeed.”

This project was made possible through strong partnerships between Enterprise Florida, the University of West Florida, Bay County Economic Development Alliance, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, Bay County Board of County Commissioners, CareerSource Florida, CareerSource Gulf Coast and Gulf Coast State College.

“We are ecstatic to welcome GKN Aerospace to Bay County, Florida! The creation of 170 new jobs along with a capital investment of more than $50 million will have a legacy impact in our local economy said Clint Mizell 2016 Chairman of the Bay Economic Development Alliance. “Our community came together as a team to land this “game changing” project. We cannot say enough thanks to the many individuals and organizations that helped and supported our efforts.”

“We congratulate GKN Aerospace Aerostructures on today’s announcement, and would like to extend a warm welcome on behalf of the State of Florida,” said Space Florida President Frank DiBello. “We applaud Bay Economic Development Alliance’s partnership with GKN Aerospace Aerostructures, as it provides valued expansion of advanced manufacturing for our aerospace industry, high-wage job creation and capital investment to Florida’s Panhandle. Space Florida looks forward to working with the company through its many stages of growth.”

The company will receive a $2 million grant from the Industry Recruitment, Retention & Expansion Fund (IRREF) Grant Program, which is administered by the University of West Florida. The IRREF program was designed to spur research and development, commercialization of research, economic diversification and job creation in Northwest Florida.

"The University is proud to provide key support for GKN Aerospace's expansion, which will help strengthen, grow and diversify the region's economy," said Brice Harris, assistant vice president for research and economic opportunity at UWF. "This project and others supported by the Industry Recruitment, Retention and Expansion Fund demonstrate our commitment to attracting high-paying jobs to Northwest Florida."



GKN Aerospace is the world’s leading multi-technology tier 1 aerospace supplier. As a global company serving the world’s leading aircraft manufacturers, GKN Aerospace develops, builds and supplies an extensive range of advanced aerospace systems, components and technologies– for use in aircraft ranging from helicopters and business jets to the most used single aisle aircraft and the largest passenger planes in the world. Light weight composites, additive manufacturing, innovative engine systems and smart transparencies help to reduce emissions and weight on the aircraft and enhance passenger comfort. GKN Aerospace is market leading in aerostructures, engine systems, transparencies and wiring systems and operates in 15 countries at 60 locations employing approximately 17,000 people.

Enterprise Florida, Inc. (EFI) is a partnership between Florida’s businesses and government leaders and is the principal economic development organization for Florida. EFI facilitates job growth through recruitment and retention, international trade and exporting, promotion of sporting events, and capital funding programs to assist small and minority businesses. EFI launched “Florida – The Future is Here” to promote the state as the nation’s premier business destination.


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