Last October, Gulfstream Aerospace opened a $55 million support center at Alliance Airport to repair and maintain its planes, employing about 200 people. Now, the subsidiary of General Dynamics that manufactures and designs private jets is planning a potential expansion to a more than 108,000-square-foot facility located at 2500 Golden Triangle Blvd. in far North Fort Worth.
The company expects to employ an additional 105 employees there, according to an informal report to the Fort Worth city council. The company also plans to invest $6 million in new equipment.
The company partners with Tarrant County College’s aviation maintenance program to hire employees and is forming other partnerships with other educational institutions in the area, according to the report.
City Council will consider nominating the company for the Texas Enterprise Zone Program, a tax refund program designed to encourage job growth in economically distressed areas on Sept. 12. The state governs the enterprise zones.
Since Gulfstream is technically located outside of a designated enterprise zone — the median income for people living in the 76177 area code, where the new facility would be located, is $91,074, about 20% higher than the median income in the Dallas-Fort Worth region, according to U.S. Census data — 35% of Gulfstream’s hires would be economically disadvantaged individuals, people within a nearby zone or veterans.
The nomination could possibly be a “tremendous benefit” to the city, District 2 councilmember Carlos Flores said.
“They committed to hiring economically disadvantaged folks and I think that is very noteworthy,” Flores said.
Kasia Tarczynska, senior research analyst for Good Jobs First, an economic development accountability advocacy organization, is skeptical of the nomination for the program.
“It is worth [acknowledging] that the company wants to hire locally and from disadvantaged groups,” Tarczynska wrote in an email. “But we don’t know anything about how much those workers will be paid and if the jobs will provide them with [a] good living.”
The nomination will have no fiscal impact on the city’s budget, according to the report.
Seth Bodine is a business and economic development reporter for the Fort Worth Report. Contact him at email@example.com and follow on Twitter at @sbodine120.
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