Honda Aircraft Company, maker of the renowned HondaJet light aircraft, will develop and produce a longer-range version of the plane at its Greensboro facilities, creating 280 jobs. The company will invest $55.7 million in Guilford County for production of its new HondaJet 2600 model, bringing its total investment in the state to over $335 million.
“HondaJet’s creation of nearly 300 good-paying jobs is yet another example of why CNBC named North Carolina as the number one state in the country to do business for the second year in a row,” said Governor Cooper. “This decision shows our state’s commitment to developing a skilled workforce, not only in the key industry of aerospace with a flagship brand like HondaJet, but in the entire advanced manufacturing arena.”
Honda Aircraft Company is headquartered in Greensboro and produces the HondaJet, an innovative light jet aircraft. HondaJet features a unique, over-the-wing-engine mount and the plane has been well received since its first flight in 2003. Recently, the company has developed a concept for a longer-range model, the HondaJet 2600, designed to be the world’s first light jet capable of nonstop transcontinental flight across the United States, with a quiet and spacious cabin suited for long-range travel and the ability to accommodate up to 11 occupants. The aircraft is also designed for single-pilot operation.
The company’s project in Greensboro will establish production lines to manufacture the new HondaJet 2600, focusing initially on the critical design phase and production readiness of the plane, requiring significant R&D resources.
“We are thrilled that North Carolina will be home to the new Honda light jet that represents the next chapter of our skyward mobility,” said Hideto Yamasaki, President and CEO of Honda Aircraft Company. “The state of North Carolina provides a rich talent pool and tremendous support from our local community and having our facilities located right next to the Piedmont Triad International Airport is an ideal location to develop and produce our new light jet.”
“Talent comes first when companies consider a business location,” said North Carolina Commerce Secretary Machelle Baker Sanders. “Locations that can offer a talented and well-trained workforce, tailored to the needs of a particular industry, succeed in today’s business environment. North Carolina’s First in Talent strategic plan helps our state deliver the world-class workforce that makes us the best place to do business in the world.”
The North Carolina Department of Commerce led the state’s support for the company during its site evaluation and decision-making process.
Although wages will vary depending on the position, the average salary for the new positions will be $88,761. The current average wage in Guilford County is $57,190.
Honda Aircraft’s project in North Carolina will be facilitated, in part, by a Job Development Investment Grant (JDIG) approved by the state’s Economic Investment Committee earlier today, and is contingent upon local participation from the City of Greensboro and Guilford County. Over the course of the 12-year term of this grant, the project is estimated to grow the state’s economy by $2.37 billion. Using a formula that takes into account the new tax revenues generated by the new jobs, the JDIG agreement authorizes the potential reimbursement to the company of up to $3,434,400, spread over 12 years. State payments only occur following performance verification by the departments of Commerce and Revenue that the company has met its incremental job creation and investment targets. JDIG projects result in positive net tax revenue to the state treasury, even after taking into consideration the grant’s reimbursement payments to a given company.
Because Honda Aircraft is in Guilford County, classified by the state’s economic tier system as Tier 2, the company’s JDIG agreement also calls for moving $381,600 into the state’s Industrial Development Fund – Utility Account. The Utility Account helps rural communities finance necessary infrastructure upgrades to attract future business. Even when new jobs are created in a Tier 2 county such as Guilford, the new tax revenue generated through JDIG grants helps more economically challenged communities elsewhere in the state.
“HondaJet is one of our area’s signature employers and we’re so pleased they’ve decided to expand in Greensboro,” said N.C. Senator Michael Garrett. “The Triad is the beating heart of North Carolina’s growing aviation industry, and we welcome this new investment in our region.”
“Many people and organizations in our area worked hard to support this company and make today’s decision possible,” said N.C. Representative John Faircloth. “Our entire community applauds Honda Aircraft’s expansion and will work together every day to help this company continue to grow in North Carolina.”
The Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina would like to recognize the North Carolina Department of Commerce as well as other key partners involved in this project, including the North Carolina General Assembly, the North Carolina Community College System, the Piedmont Triad International Airport, Guilford Technical Community College, the City of Greensboro, Guilford County, the Guilford County Economic Development Alliance, GuilfordWorks, and the Greensboro Chamber of Commerce.