400 The Professional Drive
West Jefferson, NC
(336) 246-1721

GE Aviation has been a solid rock for Ashe County’s economy since the West Jefferson facility opened in 2007. However, a recent expansion of the West Jefferson plant promises to make GE an even bigger part of the local economy.

As part of the 80,000-square-foot expansion, the West Jefferson facility plans to add 105 jobs by 2017, adding 15 new employees per quarter. In all, this represents a $65 million investment in West Jefferson.

Expansion According to GE Plant Leader Tim Tucker, the West Jefferson plant’s expansion is part of a larger commitment by GE Aviation to invest $195 million across its North Carolina operations through 2017.

GE Aviation currently has more than 1,300 employees in North Carolina at sites in Durham, West Jefferson, Wilmington and Asheville. The West Jefferson expansion, combined with the new facility in Asheville, and plant and equipment upgrades at existing sites across North Carolina, will create 242 additional GE jobs by 2017.  The increase in volume is driven largely by orders for the new LEAP jet engine of CFM International, a 50/50 joint company of GE and Snecma (Safran) of France.

Prior to the groundbreaking on June 5, 2014, CFM has logged total orders and commitments with airlines for more than 6,000 LEAP engines, even though these engines will not enter service until 2016.
These new engines will power some of the most popular aircrafts currently in use worldwide, such as the new Airbus A32oneo, Boeing 737 MAX and COMAC (China) C919.

West Jefferson was chosen as an expansion site became of the excellent track record during the past few years. According to Tucker, the West Jefferson plant became a “rotating parts center of excellence” in 2008, and the plant began gaining notoriety in 2009.
“In 2009, the site really began to gain traction, get notoriety with the supply chain as a facility that can meet commits and meet metrics every year,” Tucker said during an open house event at Boondocks Brew Haus last December.

According to Tucker, the West Jefferson plant will be going from five processes to 34 by 2017, and will be moving from $220 million of output to $350 million in the next three years.  “I’m excited that GE has chosen the West Jefferson plant to expand production for its incredibly popular LEAP engine, which will power next generation aircraft from around the globe,” Tucker said in a news release from GE Aviation. “I’m extremely pleased as well that GE is partnering with Wilkes Community College to give local workers the opportunity to learn the skills needed for the new jobs this expansion will bring to West Jefferson. The work done here will demonstrate yet again that American manufacturing and American workers can compete in the global economy.”

Applications are being accepted for CNC Machine Operators and Machinists between 11/16/15 and 1/15/16 with start dates in March, July and October of 2016.
To apply go to
GE will also be hosting three career fairs across the region as part of the hiring process. They will have current employees there to answer questions as well as resources that can help interested candidates complete the online application. Below is the information for each of these career fairs.
Monday 12/7/15 from 2-6PM at The Crossroads Institute 1117 East Stuart Drive, Galax, VA
North Carolina
Tuesday 12/15/15 from 1-7PM at The CNC Training Center 477 The Professional Drive, West Jefferson, NC
Wednesday 12/16/15 from 10AM-2PM at The Johnson County Public Library 219 N Church St, Mountain City, TN