PRINCE GEORGE, VA (WWBT) - Two years after the state landed the massive project, construction is finally underway. British based Rolls Royce is building a 500-million dollar aerospace facility at the Crosspointe plant in Prince George County.
"This is the first Rolls Royce manufacturing facility built from the ground up in the United States," said James Guyette, President of Rolls Royce North America Inc.
The manufacturing plant will build "discs" which are a part of turbo-fan engines for certain planes. The campus will also house two research partnerships.
"Rolls Royce is investing in America. Investing in Virginia and investing in Prince George County," said Guyette.
State and local officials say the company will help propel the local economy. Governor Tim Kaine says the partnership will make Virginia stronger in the aviation aerospace sector.
"It says manufacturing isn't dead in the country or the commonwealth. That there are great manufacturing opportunities if you partner with innovative firms like Rolls Royce," said Kaine.
The plant will initially employ 140 people, but Rolls Royce expects future growth to generate some 500 jobs in the coming years.
"These are going to be local jobs. There will be a variety of skills required from machinists to technicians -- people trained to work with high precision metal," Guyette said.
During the ceremony Governor Kaine help raise the Rolls Royce flag as a sign of partnership between the company and the commonwealth. The facility is expected to be fully operational by 2011.