Facility will bring 80 new high-skill aircraft jobs to the Fox Valley
APPLETON – Governor Scott Walker today joined business leaders from Air Wisconsin in announcing an $8 million expansion to operations at Appleton International Airport. Once completed, the expansion project is expected to create 80 new high-skill jobs.
“Wisconsin businesses like Air Wisconsin are choosing to invest in themselves and grow here in Wisconsin because we have some of the best workers in the country,” said Governor Walker. “This expansion will create 80 new high-skill aircraft technician jobs and other related jobs that will help families throughout the Fox Valley. Through our workforce development programs, we are making sure that more and more Wisconsinites have the training and skills they need to work in tech jobs like this and many others—it’s crucial we help our workers get the skills they need to find rewarding, family-supporting careers.”
Air Wisconsin’s $8 million expansion project includes the construction of a brand new 30,000 square ft. hangar and 7,000 square ft. of additional office space that will be attached to the hangar. Construction of the new facility is set to begin in July 2018 with completion of the hangar expected by the end of 2018. The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) is in discussions with the company about providing incentives for the expansion.
Headquartered in Appleton, Air Wisconsin has been operating as a regional airline in the United States since 1965. Air Wisconsin performs flying services for United Airlines as United Express throughout the Midwest and East Coast. Air Wisconsin has seen a rapid increase in the number of flights operated as part of United Express through Appleton International Airport which was named the 4th fastest growing airport in the United States, according to Bloomberg. Air Wisconsin’s new maintenance will serve to handle the growing demand for their regional jet fleet.
“Wisconsin holds a special place in Air Wisconsin’s 53-year history,” said Christine Deister, President and CEO. “We are proud and delighted to be growing our airline’s team in our home state and investing in our local communities by creating more high-paying jobs with great benefits. The significant increase in our United Express flights serving Appleton and the Fox Cities is indicative of the growth in the local economy, and the need to support that growth by providing increased access to convenient air transportation within the U.S. and worldwide on United Airlines for both business and leisure travelers.”
United Express flights, operated by Air Wisconsin, have increased by 6% in Wisconsin since the start of 2018. Air Wisconsin is also creating additional jobs in the state by expanding their Milwaukee Maintenance Base, Milwaukee Crew Base, and their new Appleton Flight Attendant Training Center. Air Wisconsin’s expansion is a contributing factor in Appleton International Airport being ranked the 4th fastest growing airport in the United States according to Bloomberg.
Under Governor Walker, $365 million in state GPR has been invested into worker training programs including Department of Workforce Development’s (DWD) Wisconsin Fast Forward and Vocational Rehabilitation programs, K-12 workforce education grants, FoodShare Employment and Training (FSET) career development, University of Wisconsin System and Wisconsin Technical College System workforce initiatives, and financial aid programs and grants awarded by the Higher Educational Aids Board (HEAB). With an all-time low unemployment rate, it makes workforce development even more important. Through these programs more Wisconsinites will be qualified for high demand jobs.