The Future of Cirrus

Cirrus Design offered an early glimpse of its new personal jet to employees at the Grand Forks plant.

Tom Bartoe, Cirrus' executive vice president of operations, said it's too early to tell how the jet will affect Grand Forks. "That's far enough away where it's hard to predict how it will affect the work force here," he said.

But a recent 90,000-square-foot expansion of Cirrus composite plant in Grand Forks has opened the door for partnerships with other aviation companies and could lead to more jobs, Bartoe said. For example, the local plant soon will start making composite parts for a Denver-based company called Adam Aircraft.

The plant already produces about 2,200 composite parts a week for Cirrus aircraft.

Bartoe said it wouldn't be out of the question for the company to add a couple of hundred positions in Grand Forks during the next two or three years.

Cirrus, founded in 1984, began as a kit airplane design and manufacturing company in Baraboo, Wis. The company relocated to Duluth and expanded to Grand Forks in the 1990s.

Earlier this year, Cirrus launched the third generation of its best-selling SR22 aircraft.

Edison reports on business. Reach him at (701) 780-1107; (800) 477-6572, ext. 107; or

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