Gulfstream Rising ... And Expanding

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Gulfstream Aerospace is following on the heels of a nearly one million square foot expansion, which included the addition of sales, service, manufacturing facilities, plus roughly 1,100 new jobs, with another expansion. "We now expect the total investment and job creation to be far in excess of what was originally promised," Gulfstream senior vice president and general counsel Ira Berman announced at the Savannah (Ga.) Economic Development Authority's annual luncheon. Gulfstream's current order backlog is nearly $8 billion and its Savannah plant is rolling out an airplane every four days. Reflecting the ups and downs of the business aviation market, the announcement comes some four years after a month-long work stoppage that furloughed 1,000 workers after a company announcement that Gulfstream would lay off 1,000 employees companywide. Now the company has opened a new sales and design center with the first phase of a new service center to be opened next month. Soon after that, construction begins on a new manufacturing facility. Gulfstream currently employs about 7,900 people, with the majority based at its headquarters in Savannah. Some forecasters see no signs of a coming economic downturn in the w orldwide market for Gulfstream's large business jets. Paul Nisbet, presedent of JSA Research Inc., a Rhode Island-based firm specializing in independent aerospace equity research told Savannahnow.com that Gulfstream business jets are the most profitable in the industry.