Thursday, December 29, 2011

AvCraft Technical Services announces Myrtle Beach expansion. Aircraft maintenance company to add 150 workers in Grand Strand.

To apply for any of the jobs at AvCraft, click here.

  A local aircraft engineering company's expansion plans mean new jobs for the Myrtle Beach area.

AvCraft Technical Services on the old air force base said a $1 million investment should mean 150 new jobs.

AvCraft began its work on planes locally in 2010 but can only work on four planes at a time currently.

Demand for plane repairs is much higher than that, said AvCraft President Mike Hill.

"We will be able to more than double that input,” Hill said. “We're also looking to expand our capacity in working on other areas of aviation."

Hill said further expansions could require building additional facilities in time, and with space now dedicated for just that in the International Technology and Aerospace Park, economic developers strategize over the industry's local expansion.

"Economic development is a team sport. So, we've got great support from Horry County council, from [the Northeastern Strategic Alliance], [and] from the state department of commerce," said Brad Loftin, CEO of the Myrtle Beach Economic Development Corp.

Horry County council and the S.C. Department of Commerce gave AvCraft $100,000 each in incentives for the expansion project

Hill said those funds will improve and grow the facilities to make way for the added planes and additional staff.

The company will mainly hire mechanics and technicians but it also will hire supporting jobs as well, said Hill.

The starting pay for the jobs is around $15 or $16 an hour.

"We felt that the expansion here was where we could best meet our needs at a cost that would be affordable to us," Hill said.

Hill said the company chose to expand in Myrtle Beach because of the airports facilities and the cost effectiveness.

He also said its customer base ranges from Canada down to Central America, so the geographical location is the company’s advantage as well.

To apply for any of the jobs at AvCraft, click here.

AvCraft Technical Services, an aircraft maintenance, repair, and modification provider will expand in Horry County. The $1 million capital investment will generate 150 new jobs in the Grand Strand area.

AvCraft provides on-call services to most airlines servicing the Myrtle Beach International Airport

AvCraft began operations in Horry County in 2010, servicing the Dornier 328 jet and turboprop, Piaggio Aero Avanti I and II, Bombardier Dash 8 and ATR 42 and 72 turboprops and other components.

Commercial planes are required to undergo periodic inspections after a certain amount of flights or time. AvCraft specializes in servicing those planes.

The company also provides on-call services to most of the airlines servicing the Myrtle Beach International Airport.

“There is a huge market for regional aircraft in South America and the Caribbean,” AvCraft president Mike Hill told South Carolina Radio Network, “The southeast U.S. was very conducive to us being in a centralized location for our target market area.”

According to a press release, South Carolina’s Coordinating Council for Economic Development approved the company for $100,000 in capital improvements, and the Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development Corporation (MBREDC) matched with an additional $100,000 from Horry County local incentive funds.

The company has been at the site since it was founded as AvCraft Support Services in 2004. The company was bought by new owners in 2010. The new partners broadened the number of models that could be inspected and serviced at the site. Now, Hill says AvCraft needs the expansion to handle the additional planes.

“We have room… but some of that hangar space is not conducive to production at this particular point,” Hill said.

The company says most of the 150 new employees will be in technically skilled occupations, and the remaining new hires will be in administrative and support functions. AvCraft is also using the nearby location of the Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics (PIA) for workforce training of future potential employees.

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