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REGIONALREPORT Western

First in flight components
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Evendale, Ohio-based GE Aviation says it has developed something that will change the jet-engine industry, and it has chosen Asheville as the place to produce it. As part of a $195 million investment in its four North Carolina plants, the unit of Fairfield, Conn.-based General Electric Co. will build a factory in the city to make ceramic airplane-engine components. The supposed benefits are lighter, more durable engines that cost less to operate. The state approved $9.9 million of incentives for the four projects to go along with $10.7 million of local incentives. To collect the state money, the company must meet its investment goal and add 242 to its roughly 1,300 North Carolina workers over the next five years. The new jobs have an average annual wage of $47,942.

Investment by site

Asheville
Investment $38 million ($125 million by 2024)
Current jobs 290
Added jobs 52
Details Construction of a 125,000-square-foot manufacturing factory
Local incentives $7.5 million

Castle Hayne
Investment $63 million
Current jobs 600
Added jobs 35
Details 540,000-square-foot hardware-manufacturing plant will get upgraded equipment
Local incentives $875,000

Durham
Investment $29 million
Current jobs 370
Added jobs 50
Details 500,000-square-foot plant will get equipment to increase engine-assembly capacity
Local incentives $600,000

West Jefferson
Investment $65 million
Current jobs 160
Added jobs 105
Details 80,000 square foot expansion of 120,000-square-foot machining plant for increased capacity
Local incentives $1.7 million

“We have mutually decided that it is in the best interest of both parties to part ways.”
— an Jones Blackhurst, spokeswoman for Las Vegas-based Caesars Entertainment Corp. The company ended its relationship with Paula Deen after the celebrity cook admitted to using a racial slur. Paula Deen’s Kitchen at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino, which Caesars operates, will be rebranded.
Source: Asheville Citizen-Times

Briefs

ARDEN — Tutco-Farnam will invest more than $500,000 and add 90 to its local workforce of more than 60 within three years. The manufacturer, founded in Buncombe County in 1982 and a division of London-based Smiths Group, makes open-coil heating parts used for items such as hand dryers and lab equipment.

FLAT ROCK —
Blue Ridge Community College will begin offering a two-year degree in brewing, distillation and fermentation to support the region’s growing beer, spirits and wine industry. Asheville-Buncombe Technical College and Rockingham Community College have similar programs.

MARS HILL —
Mars Hill College will change its name to Mars Hill University this month as it seeks to attract more students, particularly from overseas. The private Baptist school has nearly 1,300 undergraduates and started its first master’s program — in education — two years ago.

ASHEVILLE —
Mission Health named oncologist Jeremy Geffen to the new position of medical director of cancer services. The move is part of the health system’s effort to bolster its oncology services.