WEST BAY, Fla. - A world leader in aerospace manufacturing will soon set up shop right here in Bay County. the company, GKN, along with the Bay Economic Development Alliance and the St. Joe Company made the big announcement Tuesday.
The Bay EDA said they've been working to get GKN to Bay County for more than a year and a half and they've been patiently waiting for the day they could tell the community what's to come.
The company will bring 170 jobs with an average salary of about $75,000 and are investing $50 million in our community.
"GKN is one of the largest aerospace manufacturing companies in the world," said Becca Hardin, Bay EDA President.
GKN chose Bay County to house their next facility and the walls of that 130,000 square foot facility are already going up.
The St. Joe Company will lease the building to GKN at their Venture Crossings Enterprise Centre near Northwest Florida Beaches International in West Bay.
"Right now, we're really focused on helping them get the workforce in place and getting the project teams so that we can finish the construction and they can hit the ground running very quickly," said Hardin.
Hardin said their big sell for this company was that they are able to answer the workforce question with help their partners like Haney Technical Center and both colleges.
"We were able to show them that we could put mechanisms in place to train their people, to create a pipeline of workforce for a long time to come," said Hardin.
GKN officials have not said what type of manufacturing will take place here in Bay County, but the company specializes in additive manufacturing, which is essentially 3D printing of aircraft parts.
"We'll reap benefits from this project for many, many years to come," said Hardin.
"With the Eastern Shipbuilding contract and now GKN, hopefully this is the start of many great things in the future for manufacturing in Bay County," added Philip "Griff" Griffitts, Bay County Commissioner.
Hardin said the Bay EDA is already talking with GKN about subsequent phases that could bring even more opportunity to Bay County.