Spirit AeroSystems plans a second significant expansion with plans to hire an additional 1,400 employees to support commercial and defense programs over the next few years at its operations center in Wichita, Kansas.
"The aerospace market is growing as never before, and for us that means we continue to need even more highly skilled people," said Spirit President & CEO Tom Gentile. "Spirit's ongoing collaboration with regional technical training institutions, along with public investments in those programs, help ensure we can fill our talent pipeline. We appreciate Governor Jeff Colyer's leadership supporting this latest expansion, and we look forward to working with state and local leaders to build on the success of these programs."
The center, which broke ground in May, will utilize a smart storage and retrieval system with racks nearly 70 feet tall. Spirit will consolidate 500,000 square feet in three logistics buildings into the new logistics center by taking advantage of vertical space.
The repurposed space allows for expansion of fabrication and manufacturing support areas. This will include the creation of a Raw Material Cutting Center of Excellence that will help Spirit and regional suppliers remain globally competitive.
The majority of open positions will continue to be in the hourly ranks, including skilled sheet-metal assembly mechanics, composite mechanics and CNC machine operators.
"Once again Spirit AeroSystems has shown why they are vitally important to the Air Capital of the World, and we are pleased to be a full partner in support of their ongoing growth," said Governor Jeff Colyer, M.D. "The aerospace industry is a key driver of our state's economy. We remain committed to our unique and robust partnerships which set us apart from the global competition and help ensure the industry's continued success in Kansas."
Spirit's 2017 announcement also included a pledge to increase capital investment. The most visible example is the company's new 150,000 square-foot Global Digital Logistics Center, which is on schedule to open in early 2019 on the Wichita campus. This growth adds to the 1,000 new jobs announced in 2017.