Oct. 27, 2020

Engine and auxiliary power unit manufacturer Pratt & Whitney, a division of Raytheon Technologies Corp., recently announced it will build a new turbine airfoil production facility in Asheville, NC.

Construction of the 1,000,000-square-foot facility will create 800 new jobs by 2027 in Buncombe County, with average annual salaries for the new positions almost 50% higher than the current average wage in the county. The North Carolina Department of Commerce estimates the project will generate $54 million in new annual labor income for the region.

Pratt & Whitney President Chris Calio predicted a significant increase in demand of its engine portfolio, including turbine airfoils, as the market recovers from recent global economic instability. “We need to invest today to ensure that we have the infrastructure, production capabilities and workforce in place to meet future market demand,” he said.

The facility will be located in Biltmore Park West, whose developer, Biltmore Farms, LLC, along with state officials, hope the project serves as a forerunner for new aerospace industry opportunities in the region.

“An investment like this one from Pratt & Whitney raises a region’s economic competitiveness and is a win-win for the community,” said NBAA Southeast Regional Representative Greg Voos. “The need for a sustainable skilled workforce for Pratt, and eventual subcontracting vendors that will relocate nearby, will create relationships with local educational institutions, thereby increasing a workforce’s skillset, income and standard of living. All of this will combine to have a significant positive effect on the region.”

The project will be facilitated by a North Carolina Job Development Investment Grant, which has a 12-year term. The project could have a positive impact of $7.4 billion on the state’s economy during that time.