Lafayette: Governor Bobby Jindal and Bell Helicopter CEO John Garrison announced the company will produce its new SLS helicopter at Lafayette Regional Airport, leading to the first modern-era aircraft assembly facility in Louisiana. The project will create 115 new direct jobs averaging more than $55,000 per year, plus benefits, while Bell will invest $11.4 million in equipment and tooling. LED estimates the aerospace project will result in another 136 new, permanent indirect jobs, for a total of more than 250 new jobs in Acadiana. Bell Helicopter selected Louisiana for the new facility after a highly competitive site-selection process in which several states were seriously considered.
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