The announcement was made at the Farnborough International Air Show Tuesday after a meeting with Governor Robert Bentley, SES company officials, Commerce Secretary Greg Canfield, Huntsville leaders and local economic development team members.
“The announcement of SES is great news for Huntsville and the entire state,” Governor Robert Bentley said. “We have positioned ourselves to be a leader in aerospace and aviation, and the SES expansion is further proof of that success. I appreciate the leaders at Science and Engineering Services LLC for the investment in Alabama, and I look forward to the company’s continued success in Huntsville.”
Columbia, Maryland-based SES is a leading provider of maintenance, repair and overhaul services for airplanes, helicopters, unmanned aerial vehicles, and ground combat systems. Key customers include the U.S. Department of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security, and international governments.
“We are very excited about the expansion of our SES facilities and projected employment growth for Huntsville, Madison County and North Alabama,” said SES Chief Executive Officer E.J. Sinclair, who added assistance from state officials, Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle, the Madison County Commission, TVA, Huntsville Utilities, and the Chamber of Commerce of Huntsville/Madison County made the project possible.
“SES will continue to provide great support to our current customers but we will also be bringing in some new key programs supporting the Department of Defense, aircraft original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and foreign military customers,” Sinclair said.
SES officials said the expansion project will begin immediately with capital improvements and renovations to its largest facility in Huntsville. The company will construct additional hangar bays, add office space, construct a new parking lot, build an additional helipad to support its military and commercial customers, and add aircraft parking spaces.
Once the expansion is complete, SES will occupy more than 1.3 million square feet of hangar, manufacturing, and integration space combined through four facilities in Huntsville. The company currently has 750 employees in the city.
“Huntsville remains a strategic hub in the aviation industry and SES is proud to be a part of this community,” SES Senior Vice President for Aviation Derek Paquette said.
“We continue to see growth in our core mission areas and are pleased to be a part of the program successes of our many important customers. The expansion of our facilities and capabilities will allow us to even better support our customers and ultimately, the young men and women who fly, drive or operate the products we develop.”
Commerce Secretary Canfield said the SES expansion project is moving forward because the company has confidence that it can assemble a skilled workforce in Alabama. “The capabilities of Alabama aerospace workers are so broad-ranging that our workforce can design, engineer and manufacture just about everything that flies,” Canfield said.
The SES expansion is the latest in a string of job-creation announcements in Huntsville, which is a hotbed of aerospace, advanced manufacturing and technology companies.
“With this announcement, SES is demonstrating what we’ve been saying for quite some time now. In Huntsville, you can do your research, development, engineering and manufacturing all in the same location,” Mayor Battle said. “This systems approach is why Huntsville continues to be on the radar for companies looking to innovate and create. When you combine this announcement with the 2,000 jobs from Remington and the 300 jobs from Verizon, you are looking at an excellent year for Huntsville and all of Alabama.”
John Bradley, TVA’s Senior Vice President of Economic Development, said the federally owned utility and its partner Huntsville Utilities are proud to be apart of industrial-recruitment alliances that “help existing companies like SES make long-term growth commitments in the community.”