GE to bring jet engine plant, 200 jobs to Lafayette



By Lesley Weidenbener

INDIANAPOLIS – The world’s largest jet engine manufacturer announced Wednesday that it will invest $100 million into a new assembly plant in Lafayette and create as many as 200 jobs by 2020.

General Electric Aviation will build a 225,000 square foot facility to assemble its new LEAP engine as part of a partnership with Snecma of France. The companies have united to create CFM International, which already has orders for more than 6,000 of the engines.

Gov. Mike Pence joined GE Aviation President David Joyce for an announcement Wednesday at the Purdue University Airport.

“By selecting Indiana for its new jet engine facility, the company gains a workforce skilled at both developing the big ideas and bringing them to life,” Pence said a statement. “From jet engines to medical breakthroughs, companies launch the next wave of new technologies in Indiana, confident that in a state that works, the sky is the limit.” The Lafayette facility will be GE Aviation’s first final assembly plant in Indiana. The new jobs – including salaried and hourly positions – are expected to pay an average of $36 per hour.

“Our state has made significant gains in attracting this type of investment and the announcement made today indicates that we are on the right track to sustain that growth,” said Sen. Brandt Hershman, R-Buck Creek, who pushed legislation in the past to help the aviation industry.

The Indiana Economic Development Corporation offered General Electric Aviation up to $3.3 million in conditional tax credits and up to $332,000 in training grants based on the company’s job creation plans.

The incentives are performance-based, meaning until Hoosiers are hired, the company is not eligible to claim incentives. In addition, the IEDC will provide the community with up to $1.35 million in infrastructure assistance from the state’s Industrial Development Grant Fund.

The engines developed at the plant will be used on the Airbus A320neo, Boeing 737 MAX and COMAC (China) C919 planes for airlines worldwide.  Launched in 2008, the LEAP engine is now undergoing development testing. As the engine transitions to the production phase, GE could begin hirng at the new Lafayette facility as early as 2015.

According to state and company officials, the facility will operate a highly advanced assembly line incorporating several new technologies, including automated vision inspection systems and radio frequency parts management to easily spot parts on the shop floor.

Within five years, the plant’s workforce is expected to exceed 200 people with the capacity to do final assembly for the engine as well as work on the engine’s hot section, which includes the compressor, combustor and high pressure turbine.

“We are thrilled by the airline industry’s enthusiasm for the new LEAP engine and its ground-breaking technologies,” Joyce said. “Beginning in 2015, the LEAP engine will experience a dramatic production ramp-up for the remainder of the decade.”

The Lafayette facility will be GE’s fifth location in Indiana. The company employs nearly 1,700 Hoosiers across the state.

“Tippecanoe County eagerly welcomes GE Aviation, the fourth company to choose Park 350 for a significant industrial investment,” said Tippecanoe County Commissioner John Knochel. “This is a company already renowned for successfully setting its sight on the future in global reach and technological advances. Now, it will pioneer an all-new aircraft engine with a ‘made in Lafayette, Ind.’ stamp, and supply it to commercial aircraft manufacturers around the world.”

Lesley Weidenbener is executive editor of, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.


  1. Lafayette gets GE, and Evansville is still “fighting like the dickens” for Earth Care.

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