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Bay County, Florida Welcomes GKN Aerospace


Local and State officials formally welcomed GKN Aerospace to Florida on May 9th a special ceremony to celebrate the new facility being built in Bay County.

At the ceremony Mike Grunza, CEO GKN Aerostructures North America was presented with a plaque by Wayne Stubbs, Port Executive Director and Chairman of the Bay County Economic Development Alliance. ‘It’s been a journey, but all through the journey what we found was a state and partners and friends that welcomed the idea of an industry of high-tech jobs coming to their area,’ said Mike.  ‘We’re very much looking forward to having this site in Florida. We’re going to invest more than $50 Million in the plant and equipment outside of the building. I think it’s going to change the community.’

Florida Governor Rick Scott thanked GKN and the local leaders for their support of the project, before asking Mike Crowder, GKN’s first official employee at the Florida site, to join him on stage. ‘It’s an exciting day. It’s always exciting to be in Bay County,’ said Rick. ‘It’s exciting to talk about the first individual, Mike Crowder, who is a Panama City native who gets the first job here. It’s going to be exciting to see this building go up and all of these jobs added.’ Mike Crowder joined GKN in January, 2017 as a facility engineer and site security manager, and will be instrumental in managing site construction, and the purchase and industrialisation of key capital equipment.  Mike is from the Panama City, Florida area and has lived there for more than 10 years. When asked about how he felt being honoured by the Florida governor, Mike said ‘It was exciting the meet the governor and to be recognised. It is so great to be here! We have so few manufacturing facilities in this area and GKN will bring in great high-tech jobs to the community. I couldn’t be more excited.’
The construction of the new site is already under way and is expected to be complete by the end of the year, creating around 170 jobs in the area. The local partners in attendance were those who have supported the Florida project from the start including: Enterprise Florida, the University of West Florida, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, Bay County Board of County Commissioners, CareerSource Florida, CareerSource Gulf Coast and Gulf Coast State College.
Those interested in learning more about the employment opportunities at the new site are encouraged to visit the CareerSource Florida website at

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