The leadership team and employees of the StandardAero Corp. dedicated a new 30,000 square foot expansion of the Hillsboro facility with a ribbon-cutting Friday with a crowd of more than 300 on hand.
Members of the Hillsboro business community were also in attendance, as were several elected officials, both state and local.
Taking part in the ceremony was Kerry O’Sullivan, chief operating officer of StandardAero; Rick Stine, president of components, helicopters and accessories; and Mark Greene, vice-president and general manager of the company’s Hillsboro operations.
“We are very pleased to complete this expansion to create the additional capacity that is necessary to meet our growing customer demands for engine component manufacturing and component repairs,” Greene said. “Our dedicated employees have set the standards for quality and delivery, and this expansion is a direct result of their commitment to excellence.”
Katy Farber, vice-president of the Appalachian Partnership for Economic Development (APEG), said the company, formerly known as PAS Technologies, developed from a local man who had a dream.
“Mark Greene’s father started the company,” she said. “And Mark has been the senior leadership level person of this facility for years, and when I was with the Chamber of Commerce, myself and then-commissioner Shane Wilkin worked together for the first incentive programs.”
That collaboration led to what Stine acknowledged in his remarks as the fourth program that JobsOhio and APEG have been able to assist with in terms of incentives that spurred further growth.
“It’s just a great local story of a Highland County family, and a man who had a dream,” she said. “Mark and his sister Brenda, who is the HR manager, are still here after all the changes and acquisitions, and though the name has changed to StandardAero, it’s still the same crew and workforce that has proved itself time and time again.”
Wilkin reiterated Farber’s comments, reflecting on the fact that the company, even during dark times when the economy was struggling, described it as a “bright light in the community.”
“They were a growing company that was hiring people,” he said, “and it was my pleasure as a commissioner then to work with them on several projects, and at a time when everyone was wanting government bailouts, this was an investment that county, city and state government made, and three expansions later, look where we’re at today.”
He said that when the return on investment was closely examined, he felt it was a great return for both the company, Hillsboro, Highland County and surrounding areas.
Highland County commissioner Jeff Duncan said the expansion was great news for the county, and expressed his excitement about the jobs it will create.
Stine told the crowd that the company re-invested nearly $8 million last year, adding that “a good piece of that was in this building right here.”
The possibility of more jobs wasn’t missed by Hillsboro Mayor Drew Hastings, who said Friday’s ribbon-cutting signified “the kind of jobs and facility that we want to see in Hillsboro,” describing them as jobs with a future from a company with a future.
O’ Sullivan thanked both the county commissioners and the mayor for their presence at the ceremony, telling the crowd that the expansion, which virtually doubled the size of the Hillsboro plant, could not have happened without their help.
“Literally, we couldn’t be here without them because the land that we’re on today was formally owned by the city,” he said. “They’ve been very supportive of us, in addition to Shane Wilkin, who was one of the commissioners then, and who was always there for us and made sure we had the opportunity for grants and everything that we needed.”
He also saluted the involvement of Dr. Kevin Boys and Southern State Community College, who he referred to as “our neighbors next door.”
“Southern State has done a great job of working with us over the years whether it was with their specialized training programs, or aiming the right people in our direction,” he said, pointing out that several of the companies technicians came through SSCC programs.
A news release from Customer Service Manager Kristina Stoops said that the Hillsboro location expansion had completed StandardAero’s current plans for new building and expansion investments, which have also occurred at its Cincinnati, Miami and Kansas City locations over the last 18 months.
StandardAero component services provides a complete suite of complex, high precision machining capabilities for aerospace, oil and gas, and military customers, the release said.
Reach Tim Colliver at 937-402-2571.