TULSA, Oklahoma - Spirit AeroSystems said they plan to expand operations in Tulsa, hiring about 250 new workers and making an $80 million investment in capital projects. The three-year expansion project - which will support fuselage manufacturing and assembly work - is set to begin in 2019.

"This expansion would not have been possible without the strong collaboration among Spirit, the UAW, and Oklahoma state and local officials," said Spirit AeroSystems President and Chief Executive Officer Tom Gentile.

"The Spirit team in Tulsa has made great strides in improving the site's efficiency and demonstrating the capability to bring in additional work. The Tulsa site has a critical role in helping Spirit meet rising airplane production rates and pursue growth opportunities."

Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum said the announcement that Spirit will add 250 jobs over the next three years is evidence of Tulsa's standing "as a center of aerospace excellence."

"Spirit AeroSystems stands as one of the leading designers and manufacturers of aerostructures in the world, and their presence in Tulsa has been an ongoing indicator of our city's strength in the industry," said Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum. "They have customers around the world and they're a remarkable company and the jobs they are bringing here help grow our number two economic sector which is in aerospace."

The company said the expansion will start with infrastructure set-up and employee training in 2019. Full rate production is expected to be completed in 2021 with additional investment in equipment and facilities through 2022.

Tulsa Regional Chamber President Mike Neal said they look forward to continuing their support of Spirit AeroSystems.

"The addition of both jobs and capital investment — particularly in the aerospace industry, long a backbone for our city — is a great way to close out what has been an extraordinarily active year for economic development in northeast Oklahoma," he said.