16 July 2010

Jet Development in China creating Jobs in Michigan

NPR MI Radio

A new commercial jet being developed in China is creating jobs in Michigan.

The C919 is being developed by the state-owned Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China, or Comac. The plane could be a big step forward for the aviation industry in China, and a possible competitor to Boeing and Airbus.

But to make it happen, Comac is relying on a number of joint ventures with American companies, and that includes the aviation division of GE, which is headquartered in Grand Rapids.

George Kiefer heads up GE Aviation's Grand Rapids office. He says about 200 engineers are being recruited to work on the C919.

"We're actually recruiting some locally," he says of the hiring process. "And we're also going internationally to hire, to China, as well as the UK and then throughout the United States."

Kiefer says many of the engineers will work in Grand Rapids. But some are also being sent to China, and some to Clearwater, Florida.

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