GE Oil & Gas to set up manufacturing plant at Cecil Commerce Center, hire 500 workers

Full-time employees to earn average of $48,850

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – GE Oil & Gas announced plans to set up a manufacturing plant at Cecil Commerce Center and hire at least 500 permanent employees with an average salary of $48,850.

U.S. Rep. Ander Crenshaw, Gov. Rick Scott, Mayor Alvin Brown and company representatives were on hand at the Chamber of Commerce on Friday morning to announce what officials said was the largest job-creation project in Jacksonville in more than six years.

The company, a division of GE -- No. 9 on the Fortune 500 list of America's largest companies -- will lease a 510,000-square-foot facility due for completion in late October at AllianceFlorida at Cecil Commerce Center. The plant, which will make Becker Control valve products, will open in November.

"The new Jacksonville facility provides us the opportunity to use advanced manufacturing practices to meet our customers' growing technology needs faster, while bringing new job opportunities to Jacksonville," said Chuck Nugent, vice president of manufacturing for GE Oil & Gas.

GE Oil & Gas will move 35 employees to the facility by year-end and ramp up to 500 by the end of 2016. According to an incentives agreement approved by City Council in September, the company is making a $50 million investment and will create an eventual $24 million annual payroll.

The city and state approved $15.4 million in incentives for what at the time was a confidential project nicknamed "Project Speed." The city is responsible for $10 million and the state for the remaining $5.4 million. Council approved those incentives on Sept. 9.

"We competed against a number of other communities for this great economic opportunity, and we won. It shows that Jacksonville is a great place to do business," Brown said. "I want to thank the City Council for its support, as well as our many partners who helped us secure these jobs for Jacksonville."

Anyone interested in applying for one of the new jobs should visit the company's career opportunities website.