Rolls-Royce North America is adding about 100 jobs at its Prince George County manufacturing plant this year.
Employment at the Crosspointe factory should reach 400 or more by the end of the year as it adds production to meet demand in the aircraft industry, said Lorin S. Sodell, manufacturing executive at the plant.
The Rolls-Royce facility opened in 2011 on a 1,000-acre site in Prince George. It makes precision aircraft components such as rotative discs and turbine blades.
Sodell said Rolls-Royce employed about 300 people at the plant at the start of 2018. So far this year, the company has added about two dozen, and Sodell said about 80 more are planned.
“That is Rolls-Royce employees,” he noted. “In addition to that, we have about 50 embedded contractors who work here at the plant for a variety of companies on a full-time basis.”
The hiring comes as Rolls-Royce, a British company with its North American headquarters in Reston, is seeing strong demand for components in aircraft such as the Airbus A380 and Airbus A350, the Gulfstream G650 and the Boeing 787.
The plant also is preparing to make components for a new engine family that will power the new Bombardier Global 5500 and Global 6500 aircraft.
“The demand for those is very strong, and it is causing us to add a significant amount of equipment,” Sodell said. He said the plant would add about $40 million worth of production equipment this year.
“Most of the people that we are hiring are for our production facilities and for our manufacturing services here, which is equipment maintenance,” Sodell said. The skills needed for those jobs include mechatronics, high-tech equipment maintenance and CNC machining.
The company announced the hiring during an event Thursday morning at the factory to celebrate a production milestone: the manufacturing of the 10,000th rotative disc since the site opened.
Marion Blakey, the president and CEO of Rolls-Royce North America, attended the event, along with U.S. Rep. Donald McEachin, D-4th.