Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam, Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey and Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bill Hagerty along with company officials today announced Bell Helicopter, Inc. will expand its Piney Flats facility. This announcement represents an investment of $10.1 million and is anticipated to create up to 125 new jobs at the company’s completion and customer delivery facility.
“Our Jobs4TN strategy makes expanding businesses in Tennessee a priority in our efforts to grow jobs, and I want to congratulate Bell Helicopter on the news of their additional investment in Piney Flats,” Haslam said. “We are thankful to have strong companies like Bell Helicopter continuing to grow in our state and helping us toward our goal of becoming the No. 1 state in the Southeast for high quality jobs.”
“Bell Helicopter has been a strong corporate partner in Sullivan County for some time, and I congratulate them on this announcement,” Ramsey said. “I am proud to see the continued confidence the company has in the area workforce and am appreciative of their contribution to the manufacturing industry in Tennessee.”
“I am pleased to be a part of this announcement today and to share the news that Bell Helicopter is bringing more jobs to the state of Tennessee,” Hagerty said. “Helping Tennessee businesses expand right here in our state has been a core focus of recruitment and announcements like this one indicate the effectiveness of our economic development strategy. This is another high-profile example of business expansion in Tennessee even as the broader economy remains challenged. We are working hard under Gov. Haslam’s leadership to create an environment for business in Tennessee that is second to none.”
Bell Helicopter, a Textron Inc. company, is an industry-leading producer of commercial and military, manned and unmanned vertical-lift aircraft and the pioneer of the revolutionary tiltrotor aircraft. Bell’s global workforce serves customers flying Bell aircraft in more than 120 countries. The company was founded in 1935 as Bell Aircraft Corporation and was the first to obtain certification for a commercial helicopter.
“We continue to see a growing demand for commercial helicopters, and Bell Helicopter’s anticipated production requirements are outpacing the size our current facility in Piney Flats,” said Eric Cardinali, executive vice president, Customer Support and Services for Bell Helicopter. “Expanding our existing facility allows us to implement new technologies and processes to ensure a high quality customization and delivery process for our customers.
“We are pleased to work with Sullivan County and the state of Tennessee on this project,” said Cardinali. “The quick response from both the county and the state helped solidify our decision to expand in Piney Flats.”
To accommodate the necessary expansion, Bell Helicopter purchased a 150,000 square-foot building on Industrial Park Road located just west of its current Piney Flats facility. It will accommodate customizing and completions of light and medium aircraft and will also house supporting back shops and shipping and receiving operations.