Since announcing it’s decision to open a new division in Bay County, GKN Aerospace spoke publicly for the first time on Wednesday. 

The global aviation supplier was the keynote speaker at the Bay EDA’s Investors meeting and shared more information about the new facility. 

GKN has has sixty two locations in fifteen countries, and the newest dot on the map is Bay County. 

“The location here is going to be a manufacturing facility for advanced technologies. Our facility here in Panama City will be connected to both the facilities across the U.S. and globally with our sister companies,” said Sue Barnes, VP and GM of GKN Aerospace Strategic Projects.

GKN went through a process of assessing different areas before deciding on it’s next location – so why Bay County? 

“Bay County offered a lot of advantages to GKN in terms of the pull of talent, the education system here to support our future employees. Also, the infrastructure that exists here, the workforce development, the ability to recruit people into GKN, and a good strategic location for us,” said Barnes.

The facility is currently under construction and will be located at Venture Crossings near Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport.

“The foundation is down. The walls are up. The building will continue through this year and GKN’s planning to take occupancy later in 2017,” said Barnes.

GKN will bring 170 jobs to Bay County and over $55 million in capital investment. The company already hired it’s first employee to support the build and will begin recruiting for other positions next month. 

“We’ll have both what we call technicians that will work on the manufacturing side, engineers both in design, stress, manufacturing, but then all the other business processes that a manufacturing site needs from finance, human resources, supply chain, and those types of functions too,” said Barnes.

The building is due to be fully operational by 2018.