State, local and company officials met today, Nov. 14, to break ground on GE Aviation's new 170,000-square-foot Asheville facility, being built next to an existing GE Aviation machining plant in South Asheville. It will be the first in the world to mass produce engine components made of advanced ceramic matrix composite materials.
GE will begin hiring at the new plant in 2014 and expects to employ 340 people at full capacity. The company currently employs 290 people in Asheville, according to a press release from the office of Gov. Pat McCrory.
In the complex deal, Buncombe County agreed to spend $15.7 million on land acquisition and facility construction, and give the company an additional $2.68 million in cash grants. The city of Asheville approved giving the GE Aviation $1.5 million in tax breaks.
A variety of attendees at the groundbreaking ceremony provided live dispatches from the event via Twitter. Here's a roundup of some of their posts via Storify: