Aerospace manufacturing booms in 2017, including at Thrush Aircraft

Aerospace manufacturing booms in 2017, including at Thrush Aircraft
Eric Rojek, Vice President of Thrush Aircraft (Source: WALB)
Eric Rojek, Vice President of Thrush Aircraft (Source: WALB)
Around 99,000 Georgians work in aerospace manufacturing (Source: WALB)
Around 99,000 Georgians work in aerospace manufacturing (Source: WALB)
Technical schools and universities are mentoring the newest artisans needed for the booming industry (Source; WALB)
Technical schools and universities are mentoring the newest artisans needed for the booming industry (Source; WALB)

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - According to these aerospace manufacturing attractiveness ratings, Georgia was the top state for the industry in 2017.

When it comes to aerospace manufacturing, Georgia moved up two slots this year, benefiting the 800 aerospace companies located in the state.

One of those companies is Thrush Aircraft which is headquartered in Albany. Thrush Aircraft's Vice President Eric Rojek said 2017 was a great year for his company.

Over the last 12 months, Thrush has exceeded its production numbers. And from 2016-2017, the company doubled its agricultural aircraft production.

The company also unveiled its latest innovation. Just this month, Thrush Aircraft delivered its first pair of revolutionary firefighting aircraft to Georgia's State Forestry Commission.

Rojek said Thrush is lucky to be located in Georgia for several reasons. The state has a number of universities and technical schools, like South Georgia Technical College, mentoring skilled artisans needed for the booming industry. The location and state's geographical features also benefit the company. Thrush's products can be made in Albany and arrive in other parts of the world in just a matter of days.

"We put our [aircraft] on the side of a 40-foot container. It's a three-hour drive to the Port of Savannah, and we can be anywhere in the world in 28 days door-to-door. It's just an unbelievable resource we have just by being located here in Georgia," Rojek said.

The vice president said doing work out of Albany also has its benefits.

"Through incentive programs to help keep people employed here, through technical schools and universities, and having a hometown family environment... it's a point of pride to be here in Albany, Georgia," Rojek said.

Around 99,000 Georgians work in aerospace manufacturing, including those at Thrush.

Rojek said 2018 will be all about finding the newest innovations in aerospace manufacturing as well as attracting new business.

The company already has several planes that are ready to be shipped out to various countries around the first of the year.

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