Embraer celebrated the opening of its newly constructed Engineering & Technology Center in Melbourne, Florida on Monday. The 75,000 square-foot state-of-the-art facility is the first of its kind outside Brazil, where the Company is headquartered, and part of Embraer’s strategy to expand its global footprint.
The event was marked by a ribbon cutting ceremony attended by more than 250 State, community and elected officials, news media and distinguished guests.
The new Center will conduct engineering and development activities for both product and technology development across Embraer’s business lines with the first assignments primarily focused on executive jet interiors. It will include a laboratory for the development and testing of materials and interior components. Features include 3D Computer Aided Design, Computational Fluid Dynamics, Finite Element Modeling, 3D Virtual Reality Center, prototype capabilities and sophisticated laboratories and test equipment.
“As we celebrate the 35th anniversary of our North American presence this month, we are once again expanding our longstanding relationship with the State of Florida and the Brevard community with the opening of a cutting-edge Engineering & Technology Center,” said Frederico Fleury Curado, Embraer President and CEO. “With the highly qualified team of engineers that will work in these offices and laboratories, we will bring the most advanced solutions to our customers.”
The Center is located on General Aviation Drive at the Melbourne International Airport on 13 acres of land facing the existing Phenom 100 and Phenom 300 final assembly facility and the Embraer Executive Jets Customer Center, which were opened in 2009 and 2011, respectively.
Some 70 engineers have already been hired and have been operating in a temporary facility near the airport since 2012. Employment is scheduled to ramp up to a total of 200 by 2016.
According to the Company, one of the key drivers for choosing Melbourne was its skilled labor force. Additionally, the availability of land for a green field start-up was important, as were proximity to established operations and the pro-business climate in Florida, Brevard County and the City of Melbourne.
Florida Governor Rick Scott said, “Embraer’s commitment to Florida and their creation of 200 jobs will help more Florida families get back to work and live the American Dream. This project is great news for the Space Coast and I’m excited to see this company grow as they open today. Since December 2010, we have created more than 620,000 private-sector jobs and we will continue working hard to create an opportunity where every Floridian who wants a job can get one.”
Florida Secretary of Commerce and President & CEO of Enterprise Florida, Gray Swoope, participated in this morning’s event and spoke about Embraer’s growing presence in Florida. “When Governor Scott and I visited Embraer’s R&D center in Brazil in 2011, we were able to see first-hand what having them here could do for Florida. Because of the strong partnerships between Enterprise Florida, the Space Coast EDC, Brevard County, the Melbourne International Airport and Space Florida, we can bring competitive, game-changing projects like this new Center of Excellence to Florida. Embraer could have located this new engineering facility anywhere in the world, but they chose Florida and we appreciate their continued commitment to the state.”
Space Florida President Frank DiBello said, “We’ve had the opportunity to serve as a close partner to Embraer over the years, as they’ve continued to expand and add high-tech, high wage jobs to the area. We were pleased to work with our banking partner – PNC Bank – and the State of Florida’s Department of Economic Opportunity to make today’s opening of this new, world-class aviation design center here in Florida possible. We look forward to continuing to partner with Embraer leadership to provide the tools they need to ensure their ongoing growth here in the century to come!”
Melbourne International Airport Executive Director Gregory Donovan said, “Forward thinking: that’s the distinctive operating environment at Melbourne International Airport. We applaud Embraer’s innovative strategy to expand; taking full advantage of our corporate campuses, abundant runways and expansive infrastructure. We are committed to Embraer’s long-term success by providing immediate accessibility to an international airport designed for an impressive future.”
“Embraer could have committed to this level of growth at any of their locations, but they chose to do so in Melbourne,” said City of Melbourne mayor Kathy Meehan. “There isn’t a greater compliment than repeat business and we’re thrilled to play host to Embraer’s third project in our aviation centric city. Long-term investment from a global leader and model corporate citizen doesn’t happen every day. As a community, we’re honored its happening here.”
“Today we celebrate another milestone in what has become a strong and thriving relationship between Embraer, a world class company, and Brevard County, a world class community,” said Mary Bolin Lewis, District 4 commissioner and chairman of the Brevard County Board of County Commissioners. “The Space Coast is the place for engineering and technology. This innovation focused facility, and the 200 citizens it will employ, will foster next generation technological advancement for the company.”
“Embraer opened the door to the rapidly growing aviation sector in Brevard, and as a result, our community’s stock has risen,” said Lynda Weatherman, president and chief executive officer, Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast. “In a matter of years, the face of the Space Coast’s business community has transformed into a hotbed of aviation activity because this dedicated community team was able to show Embraer what we had to offer, our workforce, our lifestyle, our aviation heritage and our forward vision. That message is translating into new opportunities for the Space Coast.”
For the past three years, Embraer has been named One of Best Companies to Work for in Florida.