PINEY FLATS, Tenn. --- Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen joined Bell Helicopter CEO Mike Redenbaugh for a ground-breaking ceremony launching a new five building 37-acre construction project at the Tri-County Industrial Park. The new facilities will be used by Edwards & Associates, a Bell-owned subsidiary specializing in the repair, refurbishment and sales of new and used helicopters.
The new buildings will include an office facility, completion center, maintenance hangar, paint shop and a building for the production of the Bell 210 new light utility helicopter. Edwards currently occupies two other buildings in the Industrial Park. When the 14-month, 140,000 sq. Feet construction project is complete, the company will have 300,000 sq. feet at Piney Flats. The company's work force of 330 has increased to 370 and will increase to 430 over the next 24 months.
Edwards is investing $8 million in the project with another $1.1 million in state and local community incentives. In prepared remarks, Gov. Bredesen said, "Edwards & Associates has been a valued corporate citizen in Tennessee for many years. This company stands as an example of what good management, good products and good workers can accomplish."
Founded in 1977, Edwards & Associates is a leader in the sale of new and used Bell aircraft in North America. It has two subsidiary companies: Aeronautical Accessories, a world leader in the manufacturing and marketing of a wide range of helicopter accessories; and Rotor Blades, Inc, which specializes in the repair and overhaul of helicopter rotor blades.
Bell Helicopter Textron, a subsidiary of Textron Inc., is a $1.6 billion, leading producer of commercial and military helicopters, and the pioneer of the revolutionary tiltrotor aircraft. Globally recognized for customer service, innovation and superior quality, Bell's global workforce of over 7,500 employees serves customers flying Bell aircraft in over 120 countries.