By IAN MUNRO
Daily News-Record 11/20/20
Dynamic Aviation in Bridgewater will add more than 200 jobs as part of a $47.9 million expansion, according to a Thursday press release from the office of Gov. Ralph Northam.
“Dynamic Aviation chose its Virginia location for the facility expansion and the creation of 207 new jobs because of the region’s infrastructure, assets and strategic location,” Michael Stoltzfus, president and CEO of Dynamic Aviation, said in the release.
The expansion includes the creation of a 13,000-square-foot space for a composite shop and offices, a 33,000-square-foot hangar and another slightly larger hangar, which is slated for use as a museum, according to Joel Shank, vice president of human resources.
Dynamic Aviation employs 750 workers worldwide. The firm has already hired workers as part of the expansion, according to Shank.
“We hire a lot locally and we do search outside
the local area, but this is definitely, for us, a place that we can call home and we want to continue investing in the location,” Shank said.
About 75% of the new jobs are in aircraft maintenance or technical jobs, according to Shank. The remaining jobs are more administrative or in engineering, he said.
“The majority [of new hires] are going to be two-year associates technical graduates or come out of high school and start directly,” Shank said.
The hiring for the expansion began last year and will continue until 2022, he said.
“This is something we love to see — growth and expansion of existing businesses,” said Casey Armstrong, Rockingham County’s director of economic development.
He said the company is a competitive employer in a competitive market where many of the jobs require high levels of training and skills, with pay to match.
“It’s a great place to work, so we’re thrilled to see an expansion there that will add 207 jobs,” Armstrong said.
Workforce has been a key concern for many companies that employ high-skilled trade workers, and Armstrong said the area’s educational assets help provide a strong talent pipeline for employers such as Dynamic.
“I think it says a lot about our community’s ability to adapt and create niche workforce talent,” Armstrong said of Dynamic expanding in the Valley versus other job markets.
Shank agreed and added that Dynamic Aviation is connected with area schools to show the careers and possibilities available in the aviation sector, even if the students are not interested in working for Dynamic specifically.
“Virginia-based Dynamic Aviation provides expertise and solutions to clients worldwide, and we are proud to support this major expansion,” Brian Ball, Virginia secretary of commerce and trade, said in the release. “The company’s history and continued growth in Rockingham County is a testament to the region’s accessibility to global markets and reliable talent pipeline that has supported the operation for over 50 years. We thank Dynamic Aviation for its commitment to Virginia, and for creating more than 200 new jobs.”
In February, the firm was on track to finish constructing its sixth hangar, which is part of the expansion.
The firm owns more than 140 aircraft, according to its website, and a handful of historic airplanes, such as the first airplane to be called Air Force One, a Lockheed four-propeller aircraft.
“Dynamic Aviation has achieved soaring success in Rockingham County over the last 50 years,” Northam said in the release. “The Shenandoah Valley boasts a world-class roster of innovative companies that benefit from the infrastructure, high-caliber workforce, and outstanding quality of life that the region offers. We are confident that this expansion will launch a new chapter of growth for Dynamic Aviation and look forward to working together to ensure Virginia remains a hub for the aerospace industry.”
Jay Langston, director of the Shenandoah Valley Partnership, said Dynamic Aviation is a leader in its industry.
Shank said the community and local partners, such as the Shenandoah Valley Partnership and Harrisonburg-Rockingham Chamber of Commerce, continue to support the firm as it grows.
Bridgewater is “where we call home and we want to continue investing” here, Shank said.