Belgian Aerospace Company To Open Stillwater Plant
STILLWATER, Oklahoma - ASCO Industries announced Monday that it's taking over the old MerCruiser plant on Perkins Road in Stillwater.
The Belgium-based company makes parts for the aerospace industry; mostly slat mechanisms for airplane wings and components for landing gear.
The company's CEO said it selected Stillwater because it's close to Tulsa and Wichita—prime spots for aerospace manufacturing.
The news comes less than a year after Mercury closed shop on its facility in Stillwater.
Stillwater Mayor John Brantley was on the city council when Mercrusier closed shop.
"I want to welcome ASCO to the Stillwater family and I look forward to a very long and happy partnership," Brantley said.
He says Monday's announcement is a sign that Stillwater's economy is on the rebound.
"The sun has come up and it gives you that sense of hope and knowing that good things are coming, and they're only going to be getting better," Brantley said.
ASCO plans to begin hiring around 250 people this fall. Once they're in full production in two years, they expect to have more than 500 employees with an average salary of $45,000.
That translates to an economic impact for the Stillwater area of more than $160 million.
Brantley hopes ASCO's decision to come there is evidence that the doors are open for other businesses to come to Payne County.
"Stillwater is wanting to do business with people," Mayor Brantley said. "It is wanting to grow and we have the facilities and we have the people, the labor, to help companies grow."
It could also mean good things for the rest of Oklahoma.
"What is good for Stillwater is good for our entire state," Lieutenant Governor Todd Lamb said. "This announcement does not happen by accident; it happened by design and hard work. No company is going to go to a state or a community where they're not welcome, or they're going to struggle to survive and exist."
Governor Mary Fallin made the announcement from the Farnborough International Air Show in the United Kingdom.
Officials say the company will initially invest $60 million and employ 250 people by 2014. The second phase of development would bring an additional $30 million to $40 million in capital investment and another 350 jobs by 2015.
The company is still working out the details of its hiring process, but the Stillwater Chamber of Commerce recommends anyone looking for a job to put a resume on file with the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission.
The company designs and makes aircraft components and assemblies for Airbus, Boeing, Bombardier and Embraer commercial jets.