GE Aviation Groundbreaking

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WOWO): Officials from General Electric joined several elected leaders Monday morning to break ground on a 100-million dollar plant that will eventually produce jet engines.

The GE Aviation facility is slated to open by 2016 and could start hiring workers as soon as next year. Lafayette Mayor Tony Roswarski insists because it's located in his city, GE won’t face the same shortage of qualified workers many companies are grappling with. Roswarski says there will be 200 jobs at $75,000 a piece, which is above the county's average.

A number of speakers suggested Purdue University graduates could fill positions as they come open. Purdue President Mitch Daniels likened his graduates to players available for drafting onto a new sports team coming to town. The new factory will produce the so-called “Leap” engine, which GE Vice President Tony Aiello says has a 7,500 order backlog already.