Dec 6, 3:29 PM EST

Spirit AeroSystems announces $1B expansion, 1,000 new jobs


WICHITA, Kan. (AP) -- Spirit AeroSystems plans a $1 billion expansion of its manufacturing facility in Kansas and the addition of 1,000 new jobs.

The project announced Wednesday includes capital investments at its Wichita plant site over the next five years.

Spirit Chief Executive Officer Tom Gentile says the company's growth is fueled by higher production rates on existing commercial aircraft as well as the increase in its fabrication and defense business.

Plans call for hiring 800 new employees by the end of 2018 and 200 more the following year for jobs. The hourly jobs are estimated to pay around $56,000 annually. The company anticipates to be hiring sheet metal workers, mechanics, composite technicians and machine operators.

The project is the culmination of economic development deal involving city, county and state officials.

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