Aerospace Leader Expanding in Manatee



Aerospace manufacturer Safran announced it would expand its Manatee County facilities and relocate all operations for Aerosource, a company acquired by Safran in 2011, out of New Jersey and into Southwest Florida over the course of 2016. Gov. Rick Scott announced the move would create 84 new jobs through the expansion of Safran subsidiary Labinal Power Systems.

The move comes at a time when the aerospace industry is embracing a change toward more electric aircraft. Demand for more environmentally friendly engines and aircraft brings the creation of more efficient and quiet machinery that burns less gas and produces less pollution. And for Safran executives, expanding the workforce in Manatee seemed the right move as the company changed to meet current market needs. “We have an existing plant that can accommodate this business and it makes sense to have them join the existing facility,” said Michelle Lyle, Safran director of marketing and communications. “Florida has become a center for aerospace after-market activities and that plant is specialized in the MRO [maintenance, repair and operations] of airborne electrical equipment for aircraft.” 

Safran has several businesses located within Florida, usually located near airports, including ones in Miami Fort Myers. Labinal Power Systems operates on Whitfield Avenue, north of Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport, where it has operated since the company acquired the Eaton Corp. facility in 2014. 

Safran, which will fill new jobs in Florida both through relocations from New Jersey and hew hires done here, dedicates about 13 percent of total revenues toward research and redevelopment and plans to invest heavily in boosting production rates. Looking at all companies under the Safran umbrella, the company boasts locations in 22 states and provides 7,000 jobs in aerospace, security and defense. “This continued expansion demonstrates our long-term commitment to the U.S.,” said Peter Lengyel, president and CEO of Safran USA. “Through partnerships, organic growth and investment of nearly $2.8 billion in the U.S. over the past few years in acquisitions and new facilities, Safran has more than doubled our number of employees and acquired new technologies and capabilities to support our long-term strategy.”

The company qualified for $1.2 million in performance-based economic development incentives from the state and county. Manatee County Commissioners approved $282,490 in incentives for Safran, based on the creation of 84 new high-impact jobs over the next five years, according to the Bradenton Area Economic Development Location. Scott said the Safran announcement showcased the success of the Florida Enterprise Fund.

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