Gulfstream to expand manufacturing, service facilities

SAVANNAH, Ga., 8 March 2006. Gulfstream Aerospace, a wholly owned subsidiary of General Dynamics, has announced its plans for a $300 million, 7-year expansion of its manufacturing and service facilities in Savannah, Ga. Employment at the facility also is expected to grow by roughly 1,100 jobs, marking a 25-percent increase from the current employment level of 4,300 employees.

SAVANNAH, Ga., 8 March 2006. Gulfstream Aerospace, a wholly owned subsidiary of General Dynamics, has announced its plans for a $300 million, 7-year expansion of its manufacturing and service facilities in Savannah, Ga. Employment at the facility also is expected to grow by roughly 1,100 jobs, marking a 25-percent increase from the current employment level of 4,300 employees.

In the presence of Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue, U.S. Representative Jack Kingston, Chatham County Commission Chairman Pete Liakakis, Savannah Mayor Otis Johnson, and others, employees at the Gulfstream facility learned that their work site will expand nearly 70 percent in size by 2012.

First opened in 1967, Gulfstream's Savannah headquarters site includes initial phase manufacturing for the Gulfstream G550, G500, G450, and G350. The site also includes one of the company's five final phase manufacturing facilities and the largest of Gulfstream's 10 service centers.

"In the past four years we've seen strong, steady growth in our industry," Gulfstream president Bryan Moss says. "From 2004 to 2005, we experienced a 12-percent increase in aircraft production at our Savannah facility and we have every reason to believe that growth will continue. This expansion is necessary to meet the industry's projected increase in demand for new business-jet aircraft and the maintenance that will follow."

To ensure a growing pool of potential employees to fill the more than 1,000 jobs created by this expansion plan, Gulfstream will participate in new job training programs. In addition to the State of Georgia's Quick Start program, Gulfstream will work with Savannah Technical College on programs specially tailored for Gulfstream's employment needs.

First, Savannah Technical College will open a new airframe and powerplant certification school to train and license future maintenance technicians. Second, the college will offer training paths in Structural Assembly/Avionics/Airframe and Powerplant; Structural Assembly/Wood Shop/Aircraft Interiors; Materials/Warehouse Distribution; and Administrative/Accounting/Customer Service. Gulfstream has guaranteed a job interview to any student who successfully completes one of these training paths.

The company's $300 million, 7-year, Long-Range Facilities Master Plan includes a new 570,000 square-foot service center--more than twice the size of the existing Savannah Service Center. The new service center will be constructed on 76.6 acres at the southwest quadrant of the Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport that will be leased from the Airport Commission. The southwest quadrant site also will include an independent fuel farm and a 42,600 square-foot, state-of-the-art paint hangar.

Gulfstream's existing 209,000 square-foot Savannah Service Center at the company's main site will be converted into a manufacturing facility, and a new 222,000 square-foot manufacturing building will be constructed directly adjacent to the current service center.

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