It's Official: Piper Will Stay In Florida

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After more than a year of exploring various sites for its next stage of growth, Piper Aircraft announced on Wednesday that it has officially reached an agreement with the State of Florida and Indian River County to stay put. "We are pleased and honored to announce our decision to remain and expand our operations in Indian River County," said Piper President & CEO James Bass. "Our decision is not just a vote of confidence for our hometown, it is also a commitment by Piper to Indian River County and the State of Florida." A $32 million, three-year incentive package from the state and county requires Piper to hire more workers and invest in its physical plant. Bass said Piper will make a substantial capital investment in facilities, technology, equipment and tooling; undertake product development; and design, develop, produce and assemble the PiperJet and other aircraft projects in the state.

Bass said a skilled local workforce was a key factor in the decision to stay. Piper has been in Vero Beach for 50 years. Oklahoma City and Albuquerque also offered enticements to the company in hopes that it would relocate. A preliminary agreement among the parties was announced about a month ago, but today's announcement makes it official.