NOTE: For reporters who attended this morning's news conference, the information contained in this release is not embargoed.
Governor Fletcher and Belcan Announce
New Engineering Design Center in Lexington
Company Awarded Service Contract by Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation
Frankfort, Ky. - Governor Ernie Fletcher and Economic Development Cabinet Secretary Gene Strong, along with officials from the University of Kentucky and the City of Lexington are pleased to announce that Belcan Engineering Group has been selected to open a new Engineering Design Center for Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation. Belcan expects to open the new Center in Lexington in early January 2005, with up to 40 Belcan employees and could grow the operation to over 300 engineers by year's end if Sikorsky is successful in winning future U.S. government and international contracts.
"It is an honor to welcome such a highly respected partnership between Belcan and Sikorsky to the Commonwealth of Kentucky," stated Governor Fletcher. "This announcement sends a strong message to the global business community that Kentucky has proven we can compete and succeed as we pursue higher quality employment opportunities for the citizens of Kentucky. We look forward to building upon the relationship we have created with Belcan and Sikorsky to help make this endeavor a successful one for all parties involved including the City of Lexington and the University of Kentucky."
Belcan has been providing engineering services to Sikorsky Aircraft for more than 3 years with an offsite Engineering and Technology Development Center since achieving UTC "Preferred" Supplier Status for Engineering services. Belcan will perform targeted engineering detailed design activities in support of projected growth in Sikorsky's domestic and international development program requirements. Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation, based in Stratford, Connecticut, is a world leader in the design, manufacture and service of advanced helicopters for commercial, industrial and military uses.
"This is a great opportunity to continue developing our relationship with Belcan Engineering Group. Belcan's expansion into Lexington, Kentucky is fully aligned with our strategy of utilizing domestic Engineering Design Centers for targeted airframe and subsystem detail design activities. The work performed at the Lexington Design Center will be complementary to the system integration, vehicle definition and dynamic systems design activities ongoing at our home office in Connecticut, and will be a key element in meeting anticipated growth in engineering requirements," said Mark F. Miller, Sikorsky's Vice President of Research and Engineering.
Belcan plans on working closely with the University of Kentucky's College of Engineering to cultivate opportunities for graduates. The College of Engineering has earned a place among the nation's best and strives to attract and retain exceptional students wishing to remain in Kentucky and prepare them to become future leaders and entrepreneurs within the Commonwealth.
"Building partnerships like this is exactly how we all move forward," said University of Kentucky President Lee Todd. "Belcan, the university and the state all benefit from this type of cooperation. It creates opportunities for our students and faculty, Belcan capitalizes on UK's talents and resources and the state's economy grows from the addition of significant jobs."
"We are very excited for Central Kentucky to have been selected for this project," said Robert L. Quick, President and CEO of Commerce Lexington, Inc. "It takes a strong sales team to land any economic development project, but one of this magnitude requires an even stronger one. We believe the collaborative efforts of the Cabinet for Economic Development, the University of Kentucky, Commerce Lexington, Inc. and the city were instrumental in this location decision."
"An internationally recognized company like Belcan Engineering Group is the kind of high tech company our city and the Commonwealth have worked extremely hard to attract," added Lexington Mayor, Teresa Isaac. "Our selection tells the nation and the world that we can meet the needs of high tech industries now and in the future. I am very excited for our city and the state of Kentucky."
Belcan, an ISO 9001 registered company founded in 1958 and headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, offers full service engineering, product design, information technology, specialty equipment engineering, temporary staffing and multimedia services internationally from its 36 offices with over 3,000 employees throughout the world.
Sikorsky helicopters are flown by all five branches of the United States' armed forces, along with military services and commercial operators in more than 40 nations. Sikorsky is a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE:UTX), of Hartford, Conn., which provides a broad range of high-technology products and support services to the aerospace and building systems industries.
The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) Board preliminarily approved Belcan for tax benefits under the Kentucky Jobs Development Act (KJDA), an incentive program aimed at increasing the number of service- and technology-related jobs in the state. A community profile for Fayette County may be found at the following link: http://www.thinkkentucky.com/edis/cmnty/cw053/Location.htm.
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