DOUGHERTY CO., GA (WALB) - A growing Albany aircraft-maker with an international clientele shares its success with Albany airport officials Monday night. Thrush Aircraft has been expanding for the past two years, bringing more jobs to the area.
Thrush Aircraft is on a mission to become bigger and better. They're currently in the middle of a two year expansion and are now selling their frames to a company that turns them into border patrol and surveillance aircraft.
"With our patrol category plane that's going to Arch Angels and we're growing the agricultural line again," said Payne Hughes, Thrush Owner.
Thrush now has more than 200 skilled workers and is well on its way to fulfilling a job creation promise to the city. In October 2014, Thrush was awarded $200,000 from the Albany Job Investment Fund to create at least 100 jobs.
"We've added about 80 employees since that grant was given to us and so the commitment was to get to 100 jobs so we're getting very close," said Hughes.
They're now working on a mechanical expansion of their machine shop through the One Georgia Loan. It's half a million dollars.
"We've been approved," said Hughes. "We're working on the paperwork now."
Thrush also partners with schools such as Albany Tech, South Georgia Technical College and Middle Georgia College to recruit highly skilled workers.
"They come to work with the skills of riveting, aluminum forming, metal building and to be able to come onto our workforce and be able to and have a shorter ramp up curve of education," said Hughes.
Thrush is also working to develop planes that can be used to fight forest fires. The company is also a sponsor for the Women in Aviation Scholarship which is $10,000 a year.