Spirit AeroSystems, [NYSE: SPR] today announced the company plans to expand operations at its Tulsa, Okla., site by hiring about 250 employees and investing more than $80 million in capital projects to support fuselage manufacturing and assembly work.
The multi-year expansion project, which begins in 2019, was achieved in partnership with the International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW). The state of Oklahoma and City of Tulsa offered incentives to help secure the work statement in Tulsa with support from the Tulsa Regional Chamber of Commerce.
"This expansion would not have been possible without the strong collaboration among Spirit, the UAW and Oklahoma state and local officials," said Spirit AeroSystems President and Chief Executive Officer Tom Gentile. "The Spirit team in Tulsa has made great strides improving the site's efficiency and demonstrating the capability to bring in additional work. The Tulsa site has a critical role in helping Spirit meet rising airplane production rates and pursue growth opportunities."
"Yet another expansion announcement in Oklahoma by Spirit AeroSystems is a thrilling development for our state," said Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin. "Spirit AeroSystems' continued investment in our people and growing presence in our state is a testament to the positive business climate that we have developed in Oklahoma and another example of how we are diversifying Oklahoma's economy."
"Spirit AeroSystems stands as one of the leading designers and manufacturers of aerostructures in the world, and their presence in Tulsa has been an ongoing indicator of our city's strength in the industry," said Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum. "Today's announcement that Spirit will add 250 jobs over the next three years bolsters Tulsa's standing as a center of aerospace excellence. Over the past several months we have worked diligently with the team at Spirit to identify how we can ensure the growth of their Tulsa operations, and we are pleased to have the opportunity to leverage support through the Vision Tulsa Airport Infrastructure Fund to support Spirit's planned $80 million in capital projects investments.
The new Tulsa jobs will support increases in 737 production rates by freeing up required space in Spirit's Wichita factory site. The work expansion in Tulsa is part of a larger effort to maximize operational efficiencies across Spirit's sites. As the production rates increase, the Wichita site will continue to hire additional workers to meet the increasing demand.
The first phase of the Tulsa work expansion will begin with infrastructure set-up and employee training beginning in 2019. Full rate production is expected to be complete by the end of 2021. Additional investment in equipment, tooling and facilities upgrades will take place through 2022.