The ribbon is cut April 30 for a new Lockheed Martin manufacturing facility in Pinellas Park, Florida, that will create more than 80 new jobs by mid-2019 to support F-35 Lighting II production. Pictured, left to right: Greg Karol, Lockheed Martin Human Resources vice president, Pinellas Park Mayor Sandra Bradbury, U.S. Rep. Charlie Christ, Andre Trotter, Lockheed Martin Pinellas Park general manager, and Kevin McGagin, Lockheed Martin Production vice president. (PRNewsire Photo / Lockheed Martin)

New manufacturing facility is expected to bring new jobs to Pinellas Park, Fla.

PINELLAS PARK, Fla.—Elected officials and business community leaders joined Lockheed Martin in the formal opening of a new manufacturing facility that will create more than 80 new jobs by mid-2019. These new jobs are in addition to the 30 Lockheed Martin jobs added late last year to support the increasing F-35 production rate. The new facility will assemble canopies and bulkheads for the F-35 Lightning II program.

“Keeping America safe and growing Florida’s economy are intertwined,” said U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist, in a press release. “The Lockheed Martin Pinellas facility exemplifies that dynamic, a center of excellence for manufacturing in our own backyard. We’re proud of the men and women who work here, producing key components for the most powerful fighter jet the world has ever seen. The F-35 protects U.S interests abroad while returning our pilots home safely.”

Lockheed Martin currently employs approximately 270 people at the Pinellas Park operation.

The expanded work is a result of the rapid growth of the F-35 production program.

The facility, located in Pinellas County, adds 65,500-square-feet of manufacturing and office space and is expected to begin delivering parts to the main F-35 production facility in Fort Worth, Texas, this summer. In 2018 alone, the Pinellas facility will deliver more than 200 F-35 components to support production and sustainment of the growing F-35 fleet.

“This is an exciting day for us in Pinellas Park,” said André Trotter, program director and general manager of the Lockheed Martin Pinellas Park operation, in the release. “Continued growth and success of the F-35 program is vital to our national security. The hard-working men and women who produce critical components for the F-35 program are what make all of this possible.”

Headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs approximately 100,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration, and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products, and services.

Across Florida, Lockheed Martin operations employ about 14,400 people. In addition to the new jobs in Pinellas Park, Lockheed Martin recently announced an additional 500 jobs by the end of 2019 in Orlando. Work on the F-35 in Florida includes 97 businesses employing nearly 22,500 direct and indirect jobs.

The F-35 provides economic stability to the U.S. and allied nations by creating jobs, commerce, and security and contributing to the global trade balance. In 2017, the F-35 program is reported to have had more than 1,500 suppliers in 46 states and Puerto Rico, employed more than 194,000 people (direct and indirect), and generated an economic impact of over $31 billion.

With stealth technology, as well as advanced sensors, weapons capacity, and range, the F-35 (www.f35.com) is described as the most connected fighter aircraft ever built. More than a fighter jet, the F-35’s ability to collect, analyze, and share data is a powerful force multiplier that enhances all airborne, surface, and ground-based assets in the battlespace, the company said, and enables men and women in uniform to execute their mission and return home safely.

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