10/09/07 — Company will add 350 more jobs here

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Company will add 350 more jobs here

By Matthew Whittle
Published in News on October 9, 2007 1:46 PM

One of Wayne County's newest industrial residents, AAR Cargo Systems, announced Monday that it plans to grow its Goldsboro facility by more than 350 more jobs than originally planned.

The corporation, which moved to Goldsboro in 2006, originally intended the ParkEast facility to support the manufacture of cargo systems for the Airbus A400M Military Transport aircraft.

Now, said AAR Cargo Systems General Manager Gregg Miner, Goldsboro has "become the headquarters for AAR's entire cargo systems operation."

"We have built and delivered our first cargo system from the Goldsboro facility and have established an in-house capability that is providing added production capacity for one of AAR's other manufacturing businesses," he said.

The company has experience working on 10 different commercial systems and five different military systems -- recently receiving a $3 million contract from the U.S. Army to provide 25 cargo handling systems for Boeing CH-47 Chinook helicopters.

Now, all that work will be done in Goldsboro.

To prepare for the increased production, the company has added 100,000 square feet to the 106,300-square-foot shell building it moved into last year, and has invested $11 million in the facility.

In addition, AAR also has created 113 jobs -- surpassing its 2007 target -- and is expecting to hire another 36 people before the end of the year. The goal now is to reach 500 jobs by 2011.

"We are optimistic about the business' future prospects," Miner said. "We are proud to be a part of the Goldsboro business community and ... We are committed to growing this business as we serve our customers and capitalize on opportunities in the aerospace and defense marketplace," Miner said.

It's a growth that local officials had hoped would happen when AAR arrived -- and one that Miner acknowledged had been planned.

"We knew they had the potential to be bigger than they were initially able to announce," Wayne County Development Alliance President Joanna Thompson said. "Sometimes a project's entire potential is not known or cannot be revealed at an initial press conference or ground breaking, and that was the case last year with AAR.

"But we knew the potential was there and we're just glad that panned out for them."

The growth is not accompanied by any new incentives, but Ms. Thompson said that potential was taken into account when the original package -- a discount on the shell building, which was built by the county in the industrial park, and five years worth of grants based on the personal and real property taxes paid on the building and new equipment -- was approved.