Airport growth a runway for business boom in the Triad

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GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. – Students drill away at airplane parts using Guilford Tech as their training ground for jobs in aerospace.

“They’re basically the first up for the jobs that Honda has open and available,” said Nicolas Yale, director of aviation programs at GTCC.

GTCC sends about 120 workers to HondaJet every year. So you can imagine the excitement over the news that HondaJet will add storage and move the wind assembly process to improve efficiency in the form of a $15.5 million expansion.

They break ground in July and plan to be finished by July of 2020.

HondaJet currently makes 4-5 aircrafts each month. A number that will grow as the company does.

“It may not be tomorrow. Once this is done it might take a 4-5 year spool up time, but still its growth in the area for aviation which is great for the college, great for our technical programs and great for the job seekers in the area,” said Yale.

The executive director of the airport authority agrees.

“Having this facility here and the parts facility they’re looking to add as well, it can’t help but long term provide extra jobs for our community,” said Kevin Baker.

Honda’s expansion plays into Piedmont Triad International Airport’s greater push of attracting more business to land they’re currently preparing.

“lt’s a collection of assets that doesn’t exist in many places,” said Baker.

And that continues to benefit places like GTCC.

“I picture in the next 10-15 years there will be a lot more stories like this on growth in the area,” said Yale.

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