January 13th, 2011
The Greater Wichita Economic Development Coalition (GWEDC) announced that Apex Engineering International, LLC (AEI) will keep and expand its presence in Wichita. The company supplies aircraft parts and provides integrated assemblies for new and existing aircraft.
AEI plans to invest about $8 million, including nearly $3 million in building and land purchases plus building improvements that will add 109,000 square feet of mostly manufacturing and assembly space. In addition, it will invest more than $5 million in machinery and equipment. The company's corporate headquarters is located at 1234 Wellington Place. AEI intends to consolidate most of its Wichita administration and back office functions at its expanded 1812 West Second Street facility after remodeling and furnishing offices, updating HVAC, lighting, access doors, computer and technology capabilities and security systems. In addition AEI has an aerospace metal and composite bonding facility in Ada, Okla.
According to GWEDC officials, the project secures the company's 180 existing baseline of jobs with plans for AEI to create 139 new positions over the next two years for total employment of 319. Average annual wage for the new jobs will be more than $46,000 a year.
"AEI is very pleased to have this incentive package opportunity with the city, county and state." Said Gene Johnson, CFO "AEI's has a strong desire to remain in Wichita and this incentive package made that possible. This incentive package and Wichita's business friendly environment will not only allow us to continue to expand in aerospace but also allows us to look at several Wichita opportunities beyond aerospace. GWEDC did a fantastic job of coordinating and accomplishing a win-win situation. "
AEI works with clients throughout the aviation and aerospace industry including Boeing, Spirit, Lockheed Martin, Hawker Beechcraft, Cessna Aircraft, Gulfstream, Learjet and Bell Helicopter, to name a few. AEI was formed in 2003 to purchase the assets of Apex Engineering, Inc. which has been in operation since the 1950s.
"In today's difficult economy, knowing we've secured more than 300 jobs is welcome news," said Mayor Carl Brewer. "As the 'Air Capital of the World' our strength is in keeping and growing our great supplier network as well as our largest companies."
GWEDC worked closely with Sedgwick County and the City of Wichita, as well as the Kansas Department of Commerce on a package of incentives to secure the capital investment and jobs for Wichita and Kansas. The Wichita City Council and Board of County Commissioners will be voting on the incentive package in coming weeks.
"We thank AEI for choosing our community to locate its expansion," said Sedgwick County Chairman Dave Unruh. "It continues to show how important our working together as a team is and how our great workforce is something we must protect and enhance."
GWEDC President Vicki Pratt Gerbino said, "We were able to make a good competitive case for AEI to invest here and its level of capital investment is impressive. We must and will continue to compete against others for these opportunities."
GWEDC is the regional public-private partnership formed by the City of Wichita, Sedgwick County and private business. It's managed by the Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce and charged with creating and executing the community's business recruitment, retention and expansion plans and marketing the region.