[Satnews] Arizona Governor Doug Ducey and Orbital ATK, one of the world’s leading aerospace and defense technology firms, today announced the expansion of the company’s engineering operations in Gilbert, Arizona.
The expansion will add 60,000 square feet, one of the largest and most advanced spacecraft assembly and test facilities in the United States. With additional facilities in Chandler and Mesa, Arizona, Orbital ATK’s total footprint in the state is almost 800,000 square feet, contributing to over 1,750 high-tech and high-paying aerospace and defense jobs.
The project will create a projected 155 full-time, high-wage jobs over a five-year period. Orbital ATK’s heritage satellite business began in Gilbert in 1989 and currently has 261 employees working at the existing site.
The expansion plans complement Arizona’s robust aerospace and defense sector that contributes $38 billion annually to the Arizona economy and employs more than 52,000 workers.
“I am thrilled that one of the largest aerospace and defense companies in the world once again has selected Arizona for its expansion plans, and to support its critical operations,” said Governor Doug Ducey. “Arizona is a major player globally when it comes to aerospace, defense and avionics—and we continue to grow. This is a great partnership.”
“Orbital ATK has been developing satellites in the Gilbert area for more than 25 years through our heritage business,” said Orbital ATK’s Gilbert Site Director Rick Kettner. “Today, our facility in Gilbert produces cutting-edge satellites for a variety of customers both domestic and international. This cooperative agreement with the state of Arizona and Gilbert helps ensure we will continue to do so for years to come.”
This project will add to the growing landscape of high-wage Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) jobs in Gilbert and the state.
“Orbital ATK’s expansion in Arizona is further evidence that Arizona has a leadership position in the aerospace and defense industry,” said Sandra Watson, Arizona Commerce Authority President & CEO. “Our state’s highly skilled workforce, pro-business climate, strategic location, and excellent quality of life combined with a rich aviation history provide the ideal location for aerospace and defense companies to grow their businesses. We thank Orbital ATK for their continued commitment to Arizona.”
“A company like Orbital ATK could have expanded its operations elsewhere in the country. The fact that they plan to continue to invest in our great community is a testament to our mutually beneficial relationship and Gilbert’s focus on growing STEM occupations in aerospace and manufacturing sectors,” said Gilbert Mayor John Lewis. “These are some of the best jobs in Arizona and I’m proud they are happening in Gilbert.”