Economic Development News
|Vought Begins Hiring at its Stuart Plant|
|Published Tuesday, October 6, 2009 7:00 am|
STUART - Extremely competitive hiring is underway at Vought Aircraft Industries for the additional workforce needed to handle its manufacturing expansion of inboard and outboard flaps for the Boeing Co.
And that may bump the number of local residents who land the $45,000- to $50,000-a-year manufacturing jobs that have been promised.
With unemployment high nationwide, Dallas-based Vought has already been inundated for the few positions that have so far been marketed for the work that is expected to eventually require 100 new full time positions.
Vought President and Chief Executive Officer Elmer Doty, while visiting the Stuart facility Monday, said the company has been using a recruiting firm and been able to be extremely selective in its hiring.
For one of the recently filled industrial engineering positions, the company received 164 applications and they are not just from the region that has seen recent cuts at Piper Aircraft in Vero Beach and at NASA.
"It's a huge pool just for one position," said Paul Sandhu, general manager of Vought's Stuart facility. "There are people from the automotive industry in Michigan applying."
Six positions have already been filled, mostly engineers who are needed to design the parts and assembly area. Another eight to 10 workers - mechanics to office support staff - will be brought on by the end of the year.
The bulk of the manufacturing position hires are a year off, as that's when production of the outboard flaps for Boeing's 777 and inboard flaps for Boeing's 737 is expected, Doty said.
Vought is also working with high schools and Indian River State College to establish curriculum that will pre-train students for the aircraft manufacturing work, Sandhu said.
To handle the new Boeing work, which Vought won through bidding against Asian and European companies, will require the construction of a $3.2 million facility at Witham Field.
Stuart-based Bayview Construction has received a $900,000 contract to build the enclosure.
The space will added about 8,000 square feet to Vought's existing 411,321 square-foot facility and is part of what the company says will be $16.8 million in investments into the local economy over the next five years.
The expansion locally was spurred on by $300,000 from the Florida Qualified Target Industry Tax Refund Program and Martin County - $60,000 of which was from the county. Vought is also working toward an additional $100,000 through the state Quick Response Training Program for employees that is administered by Workforce Florida Inc.
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