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Spirit Plans To Add 1,000 New Jobs In Wichita

Stephan Bisaha
Kansas Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer speaks at an event Wednesday announcing Spirit AeroSystems' plans to expand its operations in Wichita, adding about 1,000 new jobs.

Spirit AeroSystems announced a plan Wednesday to add 1,000 new jobs and invest $1 billion in its Wichita facility over the next five years.

“It reflects the growth of Spirit here in Wichita and also the growth of the aviation industry in general,” said Spirit CEO Tom Gentile.

Credit Stephan Bisaha / KMUW
Spirit CEO Tom Gentile says the company is "bursting at the seams" in its current campus.

According to Gentile, air traffic is growing about 7 percent per year, causing an increase in production demands at Spirit and a need to expand.

“We are literally bursting at the seams,” Gentile said. “We have a huge campus here in Wichita, and we’ve been on this site since 1928, but we are really out of room.”

Wichita and Sedgwick County will invest about $14.5 million to construct a new building on Spirit’s Wichita campus, with construction scheduled to start next year. The state has not finalized an incentive agreement with Spirit.

“This is one of the most important announcements in Kansas in the last few years,” said Lt. Governor Jeff Colyer, who attended Wednesday’s event. “In this very competitive world this is how we remain the 'Air Capital of the World.'”

Spirit is headquartered in Wichita and manufacturers aircraft parts, such as fuselages and wing components, for companies like Boeing and Airbus. About 11,000 Wichita workers are employed by Spirit.

This post has been updated to correct the amount Wichita and Sedgwick County will invest in a new building.


Follow Stephan Bisaha on Twitter @SteveBisaha.

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