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Aerospace partnership celebrated

mt_partnership A crowd of more than 200 came out to Muskogee Technology’s open house Friday, April 24, to celebrate the partnership it has established with GKN Aerospace. City, state and local government officials, economic developers and educational institution leaders were given tours of the flagship manufacturing plant and the new heavy fabrication facility, Muskogee Technology North, both in Atmore, Ala.

“The reason we are gathered here today is to unveil to the general public the transformation that has happened here at Muskogee Technology,” said James T. Martin, CEO of Creek Indian Enterprises Development Authority.

Many public figures spoke during a special presentation.

“Without companies like Muskogee Technology and GKN, we would not be able to do what we do in the state,” Deputy Secretary of Commerce Angela Till said. “We look at new industries … and everybody gets excited over those, but actually it’s our existing industries in the state that is the backbone of our economy.”

GKN’s top officials also spoke at the event.

“Muskogee Technology delivers quality parts to the very first private jet ever made of carbon fiber, and this is just the start of a journey,” President and CEO of GKN Aerostructures North America Daniele Cagnetel said.

“I was very excited to see the facilities here, and when … I was introduced to a member of staff, and the first thing she told me was, ‘You know, I love my job.’ That’s the true fiber that makes Alabama successful and makes this place successful and will keep them (MT) growing.”

Vice President and General Manager of GKN Aerospace North America Jeff Barger said he was impressed with Muskogee Technology from the beginning.

“The quality of the parts and the on-time delivery has been exceptional.”

Also on hand were members of the Tribal Council of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians.

“We know the importance of building relationships with companies, as shown in our partnership with GKN, and how opportunities for businesses creates jobs for the state of Alabama,” Tribal Chair Stephanie A. Bryan said.

Tribal Vice Chair Robert McGhee spoke of the history of the tribe and how the partnership with GKN is meaningful.

“I love the fact that GKN’s own facility in Tallassee, Ala., are on the lands that once was Creek Indian lands of Tukabatchee,” McGhee said.

“Poarch is a family; it is our family. So our business ventures, all of them, are deeply personal to us. These enterprises create jobs and economic security for us and for our neighbors, and that is critically important now and years to come.”

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