GE Avation Plant

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 17, 2009

GE Aviation turns out first product, will hire 20 in ‘09

By Billy Davis

Batesville’s GE Aviation plant last week began a trial run in anticipation of a site visit by the Federal Aviation Administration, human resources leader Justin Whitman has said.

The FAA is scheduled to inspect the plant sometime in March.

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A certificate of operation from the federal agency would mean the first product could leave the plant in April, Whitman said.

The $12 million, 300,000-square-foot plant was built to produce a composite fan blade assembly for GE’s GEnx, an airline jet engine. 

The Batesville plant hired 20 production assistants to assemble the fan stator, the fan case assembly, for the GEnx.

About 10 other Batesville employees are in supervisory roles.

GE Aviation announced intentions last year to hire more production assistants in 2009 and will make good on that plan, according to Whitman.

A second round of hiring should “ramp up” by mid-summer with 20 more hirings, he said.

The second 20-person crew will be added to the current production line.

More than 700 applications poured in for jobs at the GE plant.

The factory is under the leadership of plant leader Jeanne Edwards. Edwards replaced Kristie Sturgeon, who accepted a promotion at a GE Aviation facility in Indiana.

Edwards holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from Purdue University and a master’s degree in business administration from Syracuse University.