A facility scheduled to open in late 2015 in Sumner will house the final assembly of winglets for Boeing’s new 737 MAX.
Boeing awarded this contract to the global aviation company, GKN Aerospace.
According to a press release from Boeing, this contract is added to an existing package Boeing and GKN already have in place.
“GKN is a longtime, valued supplier to Boeing and we’re pleased that our relationship has resulted in this additional work package,” Kent Fisher, vice president and general manager of Supplier Management, Boeing Commercial Airplanes said in the press release.
The Sumner facility is roughly 20 miles south of Boeing’s Renton plant that houses the final assembly of the 737 MAX.
The close proximity to the Renton plant is one of several deciding factors that went into choosing Sumner as the location of the new winglet facility, Sandra Fearon, public relations manager for Aerospace at GKN wrote in an email.
Fearon added, the delivery of completed winglets will be efficient and cost effective.
“Our proximity to Boeing allows us to respond swiftly to any change in their requirements and means we can work closely alongside them at all times, thoroughly understanding their needs,” Fearon wrote.
Aside from the proximity to the Renton plant, Fearon said another decision making factor was the “skilled manufacturing workforce that is based around the city.”
The new facility will create 75 jobs, according to Boeing’s press release.
Recruiting will begin in early 2015, the release said.
Fearon wrote, GKN will look to recruit most of the employees from the Sumner area.
“The new facility (will bring) long term, skilled work to the area,” she said.
The director of the Office of Aerospace for Gov. Jay Inslee, Alex Pietsch said, “the valley is already a hub of aerospace activity” and this plant is adding more jobs to the area.
“Sumner already has thousands of jobs in manufacturing and is proud to be also the local home of GKN Aerospace,” Sumner Mayor Dave Enslow wrote in an email. “It’s wonderful to be the place where goods are made in America and local families are supported with great jobs.”
According to Boeing’s press release, Inslee and the Washington State Department of Commerce has agreed to support GKN will training and other assistance as they work to get the new facility open.
The 737 MAX, Fearon wrote, is an “extraordinarily successful airplane family.”
She added, “per Boeing” there are 2,600 planes already ordered with deliveries to begin in 2017.
The new plant and the return of GKN to Washington state is “a big win for us,” Pietsch said. “And we look forward to bringing more companies to Washington.”