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Rick Scott: Aircraft Parts Maker Adding 340 Jobs to Panhandle

December 17, 2012 - 6:00pm

Plans to expand a plant that makes aircraft parts has already landed 158 new workers and will bring another 180 jobs to the Panhandle over the next two years, the governors office reported Tuesday.

L-3 Crestview Aerospace will spend up to $7 million upgrading hangar space at Bob Sikes Airport in the Okaloosa County city of Crestview over the next two years to accommodate the anticipated growth as part of a $13.7 million expansion project.

The continued growth of our facility and work force increases our capacity to provide high-quality aerostructure fabrication and aircraft modification services to our existing and new customers, Jeff Barger, L-3 CAs vice president and general manager, stated in a release.

The breakdown on funding was not immediately available.

L-3 CA is a division of New York-based L-3s Integrated Systems Group, a world-leading provider of aerostructure fabrication and assembly and aircraft modification.

To prepare for the expansion in Hub City, the company has held six recruiting dives between June 2011 and October 2012, adding the equaivalent of 158 full-time workers.

After visiting L-3s facility in October, I am proud they are continuing to help Floridas families with the creation of 340 more jobs, Gov. Scott stated in the release.

Florida is an aviation and aerospace leader because of the growth and innovation of businesses like L-3 CA. These are hundreds of jobs that will positively impact Floridas communities -- and is a great sign of Floridas growing economy. Since taking office, the private sector has created nearly 175,000 jobs, Florida has experienced the largest drop in unemployment in the nation -- and as families get more jobs, residential real estate is projected to rise for 2013, which is great news for Florida communities.

The Enterprise Florida-backed project had widespread local support.

As one of Okaloosa Countys top employers, the Economic Development Council has been honored to assist L-3 Crestview Aerospace on their business expansion needs, Kay Rasmussen, interim president for the Economic Development Council of Okaloosa County, stated in a release.

Larry Sassano, the EDCs previous president, started working with L-3 over a year ago as a targeted industry for high growth and high wage job potential. This is a wonderful success story of utilizing multiple partners to bring a project to fruition.

Reach Jim Turner at or at (772) 215-9889.

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