March 11--STUART -- In a sign of strength for the region's aerospace industry, a maker of engine parts is adding 200 workers.
TurboCombustor Technology Chief Executive Greg Bennett offers a plain-English description of what his company does.
"We make the hot section of the jet engine," Bennett said.
With a new breed of fuel-efficient aircraft engines coming onto the market, there's plenty of demand for TurboCombustor's product, and that's feeding the company's growth.
The company last week closed on an $8.2 million purchase of a 120,000-square-foot facility on Commerce Avenue in Stuart. On Monday, the former beer warehouse still smelled like fresh paint. TurboCombustor Technology also has a 100,000-square-foot manufacturing facility with 400 workers in Stuart.
TurboCombustor Technology landed $3.9 million in state and county incentives to hire workers here. The incentive package calls for 200 workers, but Bennett aims to hire 200 to 400 workers, including machinists and welders, at an average salary of $45,000.
"Two hundred jobs is easy to say, a lot harder to fill, when you're talking about the precision machining work we do," Bennett said.
Bennett said he hopes to develop a training center that would teach workers to fill its open positions.
The company, which has been in Stuart for decades, was bought in 2011 by Dynamic Precision Group, a division of private equity giant Carlyle Group (NYSE: CG). It has contracts with GE, Rolls Royce and Pratt & Whitney.
Gov. Rick Scott visited TurboCombustor Technology's new building Monday to tout the company as an example of Florida's business-friendly climate. He also repeated his call to end Florida's tax on manufacturing equipment.
"We're one of the few states that has a sales tax on manufacturing equipment, and we need to get rid of it," Scott said.
TurboCombustor isn't the only aerospace company hiring in the region. Pratt & Whitney and Sikorsky also are adding positions at their plant west of Jupiter.