04/21/06 — Industry breaks ground at ParkEast

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Industry breaks ground at ParkEast

By Andrew Bell
Published in News on April 21, 2006 1:52 PM

A manufacturing company announced the purchase of the ParkEast shell building and the creation of 135 jobs this morning at a press conference on the site of the future home of AAR Manufacturing Inc.

The company received a contract last year to build specialized cargo systems for the A400M, a new military transport aircraft developed and built by Airbus, and has been searching for a facility to begin operations ever since.

"As it has been said, we looked at 48 states and 52 different buildings and we chose Goldsboro and Wayne County to make that program happen," AAR Corporate Communications Director Chris Mason said.

Vice President of Operations Bob O'Brien said the company would initially lease a 10,000-square-foot building on William Street to build a prototype of the cargo system hiring 15 to 20 workers. Once the 106,300-square-foot shell building is ready for the industry's equipment in August, he said the company would begin hiring more workers.

Searching for employees will initially begin in the next month as the company attends and holds job fairs, Corporate Vice President of Human Resources Tim Skelly said.

"We want to show our clients that we have a world-class product, not only in our building, but in our community," O'Brien said.

Members of the Goldsboro Committee of 100, Jackson Builders and North Carolina's Eastern Region economic association joined city and county officials for the press conference and ground-breaking ceremony.

Wayne County Commissioner John Bell said today's announcement is something that has been in the works for years. The ParkEast shell building was constructed in 2001.

Wayne County Commissioner Jack Best said filling the shell building has helped to complete one of three goals he brought to office: building better highways, improving schools and bringing new industries to the county.

Wayne County Economic Development Commission President Joanna Thompson thanked the county commissioners and County Manager Lee Smith for the hard work and dedication they put into making sure AAR would make Wayne County its home.

"They have been a part of this particular project from the very beginning -- offering insight, intuitive questioning and bold leadership. Their support will pay off for the citizens of Wayne County in big dividends," she said.

Smith also said this project would be a benefit for the community and region for many years to come.

"I hear this from (Wayne County Commissioner) J.D. Evans on a daily basis. We are here for a reason. Good or bad, we are here for a reason. And today we are here to create jobs and a better future for Wayne County and the region," he said.

During the 10 months of courting the industry to Wayne County, Ms. Thompson said she and her staff went through 4,500 hours of phone calls, 900 e-mails and countless meetings.