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About Northeast Florida
Jax Chamber, Cornerstone promote aircraft production
May 27, 2011
The Jacksonville Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Cornerstone Regional Development Partnership announce a new video that highlightsopportunities for local job growth and creation. The video discusses the assembly of an aircraft of the U.S. Air Force’s light air support (LAS) mission in Afghanistan and may be viewed at www.youtube.com/watch?v=wDpUl3UPosg.
Nevada-based Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) and Embraer, which has its U.S. headquarters in Ft. Lauderdale and recently selected Jacksonville International Airport as its location to build the light attack aircraft, are jointly bidding on a U.S. Department of Defense LAS contract. If they are awarded the contract in June, the aircraft, the A-29 Super Tucano, will be built in Jacksonville, creating high quality engineering and technical jobs.
“We hope Embraer and Sierra Nevada Corporation will receive the contract to build the Super Tucano aircraft in Jacksonville,” said Wally Lee, president of the Jacksonville Regional Chamber of Commerce. “We would welcome the capital investment and creation of jobs this contract would bring to our region.”
The project would support the creation of 50 new jobs in Jacksonville with an average annual salary of $49,526 and $40 million in capital investment. It would also help support at least 1,200 more jobs across the U.S. The Jacksonville Aviation Authority will invest $2 million to renovate a 40,000 square-foot hangar to accommodate Embraer’s operations if it is awarded the contract.
“The hangar that Sierra Nevada and Embraer will be using was designed and built for maintenance and manufacturing activity,” said JAA Executive Director and CEO Steve Grossman.
Florida Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll and local Jacksonville leaders, such as Grossman, appear in the video, sharing their perspective on the aircraft and its benefits to Florida, America and the war effort.
“I had an opportunity to go physically touch this aircraft, and I was very, very impressed,” said Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll, a retired Navy Aviation Maintenance Officer. “The enemy is not sitting back waiting for us to come up with a great type of aircraft to come and fight our warfare. This airplane is already functioning in the terrain and has already proven itself.”
The video also includes a clip of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaking in March about Embraer’s importance to the U.S. More information about the A-29 Super Tucano and the LAS Mission is available at www.builtforthemission.com.