Thriving Economies: GKN Aerospace Chooses Northwest Florida
The leading supplier of products and services for the global aerospace industry will locate a new manufacturing facility in Panama City, Florida.
In February 2017, aviation manufacturer GKN Aerospace announced that it would locate a new manufacturing facility in Panama City, Florida. A leading supplier of aerostructures, engine systems, electrical wiring, landing gear and other products and services for the global aerospace industry, GKN Aerospace employs some 18,000 individuals at 52 locations in 14 countries.
In Panama City, GKN will make a $50 million capital investment for a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility and create an estimated 170 new and highly skilled jobs. According to Bay County, the annual impact to the regional economy is expected to be approximately $69 million.
Gulf Power efforts a key factor
Behind the scenes, Gulf Power played a major role in the effort to bring GKN to Northwest Florida. Like its sister companies throughout the Southern Company system, Gulf Power is highly invested in the economic well-being of the communities it serves, partnering with businesses, academic institutions, local government and other organizations to bring new business to the region.
In 2013, Gulf Power created an innovative program to help communities prepare locations to attract new businesses and new jobs, and to retain and grow existing businesses. Called Florida First Sites, the program has helped certify project-ready industrial sites across Northwest Florida. GKN is the first company to locate on the St. Joe Company's VentureCrossings site, one of nine industrial locations certified by Florida First Sites.
"Florida First Sites helped GKN quickly identify a certified "shovel-ready" location, and that was an important part of our decision-making process," explains Sue Barnes, vice president and general manager of strategic projects for GKN Aerospace. "We also appreciate how Gulf Power worked closely with us to facilitate our integration into the community. GKN and Gulf Power share a lot of common values, including the importance of environmental stewardship and our commitment to the communities where we work and live."