The Department of Commerce and Textron Aviation Inc., a Textron Inc. company, announced today a restated Workforce Services Training Agreement that will support hundreds of millions of dollars of investment in new product development and production in Wichita. The company plans to build its next business jet, the Citation Longitude, at the Textron Aviation facilities in Wichita. Additionally, this agreement will support Textron Aviation’s future product development of turboprop aircraft and the new interior manufacturing facility in Wichita.
“Textron Aviation is a great, home grown success story, and this agreement demonstrates its long-term commitment to Kansas,” said Interim Commerce Secretary Michael Copeland. “We remain a full partner with Textron. This commitment by the company highlights our highly skilled workforce and competitive business climate, as well as demonstrates why Kansas is the best location in the world to develop and produce general aviation aircraft.”
“With more than 9,000 people employed throughout the state, Textron Aviation is proud to call Kansas home,” said Jim Walters, Senior Vice President Human Resources & Communications, Textron Aviation. “The revised agreement takes into account the company’s significant investment in facilities and programs based in Kansas and particularly in the Wichita area. We appreciate the partnership with the State, the City of Wichita and Sedgwick County.”
In support of these programs being added into the restated agreement and Textron Aviation’s continued investment into its Wichita operations, the State of Kansas has agreed to modify the agreement it reached in December 2010 with Hawker Beechcraft to reflect Textron’s acquisition of the company and subsequent formation of Textron Aviation. This modification recognizes Textron’s significant investment in its operations and positions the company for future growth opportunities through new and enhanced products. The company is currently working with the city and county to modify its agreement with both entities under similar terms.
Since 2011, Textron has invested more than $2 billion in Textron Aviation, which includes its $1.4 billion purchase of Beechcraft in 2014. In 2015, Textron Aviation received FAA-type certification for its Citation Latitude, which was designed and is being manufactured in Kansas.
Textron also continues to invest in other new products. One example is the Scorpion tactical jet that is being developed at Textron Aviation’s Pawnee facility in Wichita. The first prototype, which was designed and built in Wichita, now has more than 400 flight hours flown throughout the world. The company is currently building the second prototype in Wichita, and development work continues.
“Sedgwick County is supportive of Textron Aviation’s success in our community and maintaining a strong jobs presence,” said Sedgwick County Commission Chairman Richard Ranzau. “We are encouraged when Sedgwick County businesses talk about growth, as that means stability for workers in our community. Sedgwick County plans to have this agreement on our Nov. 4 commission meeting agenda.”
“I am pleased that Textron Aviation and the State of Kansas have come to this agreement, and I look forward to working with the company to develop a similar agreement with the City of Wichita,” said Wichita Mayor Jeff Longwell. “Textron Aviation’s investment in Wichita will be a key driver in a strong and diverse Wichita economy.”