The U.S. manufacturing sector is continuing to recover from the worst economic contraction since the Great Depression, with aviation firms helping to drive overall growth.
Aeronautics and aviation companies are experiencing record demand for their products and services as the worldwide market continues to grow. Demand for new planes and aircraft, especially from emerging economies, has benefited aviation manufacturers in the U.S., with companies reporting robust demand for products used in the construction and development of aircraft.
In Pennsylvania, aviation firms are actually struggling to keep up with such burgeoning demand for their goods and services. The Abington Journal reports that one company that currently operates in the state said demand for the ceramics it manufactures has grown so significantly over the past few years that it is planning to hire nearly 100 new workers to help increase production.
Officials from Certech Inc. said recently that the company's bread-and-butter product, ceramics often used in the production of new plane models, is selling at record levels. As a result, the company said it would close an out-of-state facility and has decided to consolidate its molded ceramic component operations into its 63,000-square-foot production building in Hanover Township, according to the news provider.
Certech Inc. currently employs 185 people, and the company said it would likely hire roughly 80 more employees to augment manufacturing capacity. Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett said the move underscores how aviation staffing prospects have jumped over the past few years, even in the wake of the recession.
The global aviation sector has remained robust over the past few years, according to analysts. In Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRIC), as well as other emerging economies, demand for new airplanes and other aeronautical equipment has grown as quickly as GDP. In some nations, in fact, demand for aviation equipment has registered in the double digits.
Certech North America vice president and general manager Mike Kuzdzal said that the company is rewarding its employees for their commitment and work at the firm. He added that the new workers the firm plans to hire would experience the same excellent working conditions and benefits of current employees.
"The Pennsylvania facility is newer with a good workforce with good performance," Kuzdzal said. "And it's nice to reward that effort and accomplishment with additional work and job security."
Pennsylvania lawmakers praised Certech's decision to expand its facility in Hanover Township. They said that the state's economy has continued to shows signs of strength, and that they are confident growth prospects will show further signs of improvement over the next year.
Larry Newman, the vice president of Economic and Community Development at the Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Business and Industry, echoed such a sentiment, asserting the firm's decision underscores how the state's manufacturing sector remains strong.
"It's always critical for our community to be able to demonstrate that we have the ability to compete for jobs," he said. "And we're happy that in this case we demonstrated that consolidating the operations here in greater Wilkes-Barre was the better option. Obviously this community has a larger percentage of its employment in manufacturing than in other areas of the country. We are finding that many of the area's manufacturers are able to compete on that global stage - but also able to win."
Pennsylvania's unemployment rate has fallen over the past years. It currently stands at 7.7 percent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.