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Spirit AeroSystems to add 1,400 jobs in coming year

(KWCH)
Published: Dec. 18, 2018 at 11:49 AM CST
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Wednesday, Dec.19, 2018

Spirit AeroSystems announced Wednesday it plans to hire an additional 1,400 jobs next year. This follows previous recent commitments of more than 1,000 jobs.

President and CEO Tom Gentile said air traffic is increasing and there's a heightened demand for aircraft right now.

He says they need more people as they ramp up production.

Those interested in applying or a job at Spirit can do so on the

A majority of these new positions will be hourly employees, such as mechanics, machine operators, sheet metal workers and composite workers.

Gentile says they're lucky to have programs at Wichita State and WSU Tech that help them fill these jobs with skilled workers.

"There could be upward pressure on production rates in the future. Just with what we have committed is going to support this job growth. We literally can't hire them fast enough because we want them trained with on the job experience before rate breaks happen," Gentile said.

Annual pay for the 1,400 jobs totals about $75 million. That breaks down to about $53,000 per year. Wednesday Eyewitness News learned most of the jobs will be hourly positions including machine operators, mechanics and sheet metal workers, just to name a few.

State and local leaders say the job growth will help keep people in Kansas and attract more people to the region.

"There is an incredible demand for new aircraft and we are building more aircraft than ever before," Gentile said.

Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer called Wednesday's announcement in generations for the state and says more jobs means more people staying in the state.

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Gov. Jeff Colyer is expected to make a major jobs announcement in Wichita on Wednesday.

His office says the announcement will be made from Spirit AeroSystems at 10 a.m. It comes after the company added 1,000 jobs last year.

In November, Spirit committed to adding more than 300 jobs, adding to the 1,000 total the company committed to last year.

Tuesday, mum was the word for Longwell when asked for more insight into Wednesday's announcement.

"I don't want to release too much information, but this community is going to embrace it," he says. "(This is) probably uncharted waters for this community, something that we have never been able to accomplish before, so it's really exciting to be able to take these types of steps in the community. (I) can't wait for the announcement."