Jindal announces Aeroframe Services expansion

By Theresa Schmidt - bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -Governor Bobby Jindal was in town today to announced a major expansion at Aeroframe Services at Chennault International Airport.  It will mean about 300 new jobs for the area.

At Aeroframe at Chennault they specialize in maintenance, repair and overhaul of aircraft and while business had perhaps been a bit slow it's picked up and the company plans to add at least 300 direct new jobs this year.  Jobs that will pay an average salary of $55,000 plus benefits.  Governor Bobby Jindal came to Chennault Industrial Airport to make the announcement. Perhaps even better than the new jobs is the indication that the economy is doing well. "They'll be adding a new line of production every 45 days. That means every six weeks 75 new workers are going to join the team here at Chennault, 300 new jobs in as little as six months. Our FastStart Team is going to help them with the recruitment of quality employees, both provide detailed training programs for recruits and supervisors."

Aeroframe's expansion is due to a recent surge in aircraft maintenance work from both existing and new customers.  The company will start hiring right away. CEO Roger Porter predicts the ramp up will be widespread and sustained for many years. "We're facing a tsunami of work, just through the dynamics of the environment, economic environment and the regulatory environment with the FAA regulations and so forth, We are looking at work beyond the capacity of this facility."

Mayor Randy Roach says the words "hiring immediately" are music to his ears.  "It's a marvelous opportunity for us to expand and diversify our economy and think of the words, 'immediately Hiring.' Music to our ears."

Besides the 300 new jobs an additional 360 indirect jobs are expected to be created totaling more than 660 jobs over the coming six months.

Aeroframe is working with Louisiana FastStart, the Louisiana WorkForce Commission and Sowela Technical College to meet its employee recruitment and training needs.

For more information, you can read the announcement from the Office of Governor Jindal below.

Copyright 2010 KPLC. All rights reserved.

The following is a news release from the Office of the Governor of Louisiana.

LAKE CHARLES – Today, Governor Bobby Jindal, Aeroframe Services President and CEO Roger Porter and Lake Charles Mayor Randy Roach announced that Aeroframe will dramatically expand its presence at Chennault International Airport. Headquartered in Lake Charles, Louisiana, Aeroframe, which specializes in maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) of aircraft, will add at least 300 direct new jobs this year with an average salary of $55,000 plus benefits.

This expansion will bring Aeroframe's total Chennault presence to 550 employees with a total payroll in excess of $30 million. The Louisiana Department of Economic Development (LED) estimates that the 300 direct new jobs will result in more than 360 indirect jobs for a total impact of more than 660 new jobs, the vast majority of which are expected to be created in the next six months.

Governor Jindal said, "I'm thrilled to announce this exciting expansion of one of Southwest Louisiana's largest private-sector employers. This expansion is yet another big boost for the Lake Charles area economy. Thanks to our national-caliber workforce initiative, Louisiana FastStart, Aeroframe will be able to recruit and train 300 new workers in as little as six months.

FastStart is one of the reasons why our economy continues to outperform the South and the U.S. We've made business retention and expansion our top priority, and today's expansion announcement is yet another example of the value of that commitment."

Aeroframe's expansion is the result of a recent surge in aircraft maintenance work from both existing and new customers. The company plans to begin hiring immediately. To begin accepting the additional work, Aeroframe Services will add one line of production every 45 days with each line including a minimum of 75 new jobs.

"We fully expect this ramp up to be wide spread and sustained for many years. But the competition to service these aircraft will be fierce and on a global scale," said Porter. "The good news is the State of Louisiana and local political bodies, through Chennault Airpark Authority, have continually invested in the Airpark for many years to ensure it remains a premier facility and that the productivity of our workforce remains the best in the industry. This allows us to compete in the global marketplace—and win."

Aeroframe Services is working with Louisiana FastStart, the Louisiana Workforce Commission and SOWELA Technical College to meet its employee recruitment and training needs. Louisiana FastStart will coordinate the recruitment and screening processes, develop and deliver detailed training programs for recruits and supervisors, as well as provide significant post-employment classes specifically for aviation core skills training. "We have been thoroughly impressed with their responsiveness and capabilities," said Aeroframe Services CFO Mike Long.

Mayor Roach said, "The words 'hiring immediately' are music to our ears. We certainly appreciate the Governor's support for this project. This is exactly the type of work we need for Southwest Louisiana. It expands our local job market and the spending power of this $30 million payroll will help support our local economy in the midst of a difficult national economy."

"Chennault is one of our top regional assets in Louisiana, and today's announcement is another example of its job-creation potential," said LED Secretary Stephen Moret. "I'm especially pleased that our new Louisiana FastStart team will enable Aeroframe to attract 300 trained workers in just a few months."

Located at Chennault International Airpark in Lake Charles, La., Aeroframe Services is a privately owned maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) company for large commercial transport aircraft. The company consists of two operating units, Aeroframe Services and Aeroframe Airepairs, which are both FAA-certified FAR 145 Repair Stations. Offering comprehensive aircraft maintenance services backed by a highly trained team of professionals, Aeroframe is the largest Airbus maintenance facility in America.