Gulfstream opens its new service center at Appleton International Airport, expects to create 200 jobs


GREENVILLE - The long-awaited new Gulfstream service center is officially open at the Appleton International Airport.

The nearly 190,000-square-foot building represents a nearly $40 million investment and is expected to create roughly 200 jobs. 

State and local officials and business leaders came out to celebrate the ribbon-cutting at the Gulfstream hangar on Discovery Drive on Friday.

Gov. Tony Evers said the expansion is a testament to Wisconsin's ability to attract businesses. 

"Not only will this expansion create jobs and enhance the local economy, it really shows that Wisconsin is the place for growth and a great destination for business," Evers said. 

The project, which was announced last February, has already resulted in 100 jobs at Gulfstream Appleton and is expected to double that figure with aviation and technology positions.

The new service center will include a hangar, offices, back shops and support space. It will be located at the airport between two existing Gulfstream hangars west of the Greenville water tower.

"There's a lot of pride because this is happening here in Outagamie County," Nelson said. "There's a lot of pride because these workers have been working very hard. They've made incredible contributions."

Gulfstream engineers, manufactures and services business aircraft. It has been at Appleton International Airport since 1998.

Worldwide, Gulfstream employs more than 15,000 people. It is headquartered in Savannah, Georgia, and operates facilities in the U.S., United Kingdom, China and Brazil.

Derek Zimmerman, president of Gulfstream Customer Support, said the incoming jobs in Appleton are highly technical in nature and the company will be seeking employees with technical, mechanical, software and electrical backgrounds. 

Zimmerman said the company has been fortunate to attract and retain a strong workforce in the Fox Valley despite a statewide workforce shortage, but it can still be an issue across the aviation sector.

Wisconsin currently has a 3% unemployment rate, which is near historic lows for the state. 

"It's certainly a challenge we face as an industry typically the way we approach that is to try and reach out and start that career development as early as possible," Zimmerman said. 

Gulfstream has partnered with Fox Valley Technical College and the Appleton Area School District to train and invest in students and help them build skills to prepare for careers that could eventually lead them to the company.

Sen. Roger Roth, R-Appleton, said he believes Gulfstream's presence in the Fox Valley will help attract similar businesses and companies into the area. Roth credits Gulfstream as one of the major job creators in the state.

"In government, we don't create jobs, but we just try to create that atmosphere where job creators can thrive," Roth said. "Gulfstream is one of those job creators helping us thrive here in northeast Wisconsin."

Gulfstream will open four other expanded or new service centers in 2019 and 2020 in Savannah, Georgia; Van Nuys, California; Palm Beach, Florida; and Farnborough, England.