WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. --
More than 300 new jobs are headed to Winston-Salem's Smith Reynolds Airport, filling a void that's been vacant since the exit of now-defunct Pace Airlines.
Gov. Bev Perdue made the announcement Thursday that NS Aviation has agreed to open an airplane maintenance, repair and overhaul operation. The company will also operate a charter airline.
"It's been a fairly tough week for us in the Triad. We had American Express pull out without any notice. I have nothing sassy to say about American Express, but it was a hard day for the Triad. But that makes a day like this even more important," Perdue said.
Incentives for the company, which totaled $800,000 from grants, were being considered by the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners on Thursday afternoon.
The jobs, mostly for mechanics, will pay about $42,000, Perdue said. Many of the jobs will be given to Pace Airlines employees who are still jobless.
"NS Aviation is part of North Carolina's transformation to a highly-skilled, knowledge-driven economy, as they join the growing aerospace industry in the Triad," Perdue said. "Not only are our workforce, infrastructure and strong-business climate helping us attract new investments, but we are helping hundreds of North Carolina families get back on their feet."
"We are very excited to bring new job opportunities to Winston-Salem and give people an opportunity to work for a locally owned company," said Charlie Creech, president of NS Aviation who is also a former leader at Pace Airlines. "A lot of people have worked very hard to bring this to reality."
The announcement is the third jobs announcement in Forsyth County in recent months. Pepsi and Caterpillar are both expected to hire workers within the next year.
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NS Aviation plans to open a maintenance facility at Smith Reynolds airport in Winston-Salem, and plans on rehiring former Pace Airlines employees.
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In exchange for performance-based incentives, the company said it would expand by 25 full-time jobs over five years to a local workforce of 60
Sunda is a 14-year veteran of Landmark Aviation. He has previously managed Landmark’s avionics division in Winston-Salem.