100-Year-Old Indiana Company Rolls-Royce Investing Nearly $600 Million, Committing to Future in State

Indianapolis – Governor Mike Pence joined executives from Rolls-Royce today as the company announced plans to invest nearly $600 million in its operations and research here over the next five years, ensuring its future in Indiana for years to come.

“Indiana leads the nation in advanced manufacturing, and Rolls-Royce has been an integral part of our state’s industry for the past 100 years,” said Governor Pence. “This global company had a world of options to consider when evaluating plans for future growth, but Rolls-Royce narrowed in on the state of Indiana for this investment because we offer the business-friendly climate, workforce and strategic university partnerships needed to remain competitive and to succeed in the aerospace and defense industry. Today’s news is evidence that Indiana is a state that works for business, and it signifies the company’s commitment to our state and to Hoosiers for years to come.”

Rolls-Royce’s investment, which is the company’s largest in the U.S. since buying the former Allison Engine Company in 1995, will be used to modernize and upgrade its Indianapolis operations, enabling the company to become more competitive within the growing aerospace industry. The upgrades will reduce costs by replacing outdated infrastructure and equipment, which date back to World War II, and will reduce utility costs by eliminating unused space and consolidating operations. This investment will include a major renovation of the existing Plant 8 at Tibbs Avenue and Raymond Street and installation of new equipment. Renovations are expected to begin immediately.

“Our new facility will be a state-of-the-art manufacturing center that combines modern production systems and machinery with a highly skilled workforce,” said Marion Blakey, president and chief executive officer of Rolls-Royce North America. “This investment ensures that we can increase our competitiveness in the market, which will benefit both our customers and Rolls-Royce.”

For 100 years, Rolls-Royce and its predecessor companies have been engineering, designing and manufacturing advanced technology in Indiana. Engines designed, assembled and tested here power U.S. Department of Defense aircraft, civil helicopters, regional and business jets and power systems for U.S. Naval Vessels, including the F-35B Lighting II, C-130J Hercules, V-22 Osprey, Global Hawk UAV, various commercial helicopters and the new naval Ship-to-Shore Connector program. Rolls-Royce also operates an advanced aerospace technology research and design unit in Indianapolis, which is known as LibertyWorks.

“We want to express our sincere appreciation to the state of Indiana, the city of Indianapolis, the UAW and our employees for helping us make this investment in our future possible,” said Phil Burkholder, president of Rolls-Royce Defense Aerospace, North America.

Part of the London-based Rolls-Royce Holdings, Rolls-Royce serves more than 9,500 customers, including airlines, armed forces, navies and power and nuclear customers, in 120 countries. The company employs more than 54,000 associates worldwide.

“During our long relationship with Rolls-Royce, the UAW has always been committed to being part of the solution for our next century of innovation at our manufacturing operations,” said Frank Poynter, bargaining unit chairman of UAW Local 933 in Indianapolis. “This investment, coupled with the most skillful women and men in the world, enables us to be competitive on a global level for decades to come.”

The Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) offered Rolls-Royce up to $17,000,000 in conditional tax credits and up to $1,425,000 in training grants based on the company’s committed investment. During the 2015 session of the General Assembly, the Indiana legislature allowed the IEDC to compete effectively with incentives for this project. The city of Indianapolis will consider additional incentives at the request of Develop Indy, a business unit of the Indy Chamber.

“Indianapolis has emerged as a global competitor in technology and advanced manufacturing, and Rolls-Royce has played an important role in that growth,” said Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard. “This is an internationally-renowned company that could have chosen to invest anywhere on the map, and I am very proud that they selected Indianapolis. I look forward to our community’s continued partnership with Rolls-Royce as they engage our talented workforce and use their upgraded facility the bar in aerospace technology.”

Rolls-Royce recently announced plans to be the first partner in the recently-established Purdue Research Park Aerospace District – an Indiana Certified Technology Park – in West Lafayette. The new 40,000-square-foot facility will house a research and development team for Rolls-Royce, providing greater opportunities for the company to conduct collaborative research with the university while training and recruiting future talent in engineering and aviation.

Rolls-Royce joins a list of aerospace and defense companies growing in Indiana. During the last two years, industry leaders like Alcoa, Raytheon and BAE Systems have announced plans to invest more than $900 million and create more than 1,200 new Hoosier jobs in the coming years. Since 2002, Indiana’s defense contracts have doubled, accounting for $2.54 billion in contracts from the Department of Defense and supporting nearly 40,000 jobs. According to the Indiana Aerospace & Defense Council, the average wage of jobs with companies manufacturing aircraft engines and related components is approximately $89,000 annually, which is more than double the state’s average wage.

About Brian Scott

I play on the radio from 7 am -1 pm weekdays on 98.9 WYRZ and WYRZ.org. Follow me on twitter @WYRZBrianScott or e-mail me at brian@wyrz.org.

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