Auburn is in the business of helping people achieve their hopes and dreams, which is why we are committed to working alongside entrepreneurs, industry leaders and government officials as an engine of economic opportunity.
In 2014, the university's overall contribution to the state's economy totaled $5.1 billion and supported 23,600 jobs in addition to direct employment. And the university is currently taking steps to make the economy even stronger.
Administrators and other officials from Auburn attended the Paris Air Show this summer to provide support to the economic delegation from the City of Auburn and by extension, the delegation from Alabama's Department of Commerce. On the opening day of the air show, Paris-based Hutchinson Corporation announced its intent to open an Aerospace Manufacturing Center of Excellence in Mobile. This center will service the region's growing aerospace industry, including the Airbus U.S. Manufacturing Facility located at the Mobile Aeroplex.
Auburn's presence in the delegation demonstrates our willingness to work with others in the aerospace manufacturing industry. The university will have a major role from providing an educated workforce, to materials testing, to industrialized additive manufacturing.
Closer to home, two major business concerns, GE Aviation and Touchstone Precision Incorporated, have recently announced major expansions in the city of Auburn. Both companies will benefit from access to Auburn University expertise and students.
GE Aviation, a global leader in jet engine and aircraft system production, recently announced plans to bring high-volume additive manufacturing to its facility in Auburn. This facility will be the first of its kind to mass produce additive components for the jet propulsion industry and will employ more than 300 at full capacity. GE will invest $50M in the existing 300,000-square-foot facility to prepare for the additional work. When it is completed, GE's investment will total more than $125M since 2011.
Touchstone Precision Incorporated, an injection molding and stamping company that opened for business in Auburn in 2000 with an announcement of 40 jobs, celebrated the June 2015 opening of its 67,000-square-foot expansion to better serve its customers in the automotive industry. The expansion represents an additional investment of $9.55 million creating an estimated 27 additional jobs over the next two years. TPI now employs some 90 people at its operation in the Auburn Technology Park South.
Auburn is also home to a 13,000-square-foot Radio Frequency Identification, or RFID, Lab focusing on the business and technical implementation of RFID and other new technologies in retail, supply chain management and manufacturing. It is a unique private and academic partnership between major manufacturers and retailers, technology vendors, standards organizations as well as top faculty and researchers from many disciplines.
The Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities recently named Auburn an Innovation and Economic Prosperity University, a designation that recognizes the university's strong commitment to economic engagement and its work with public and private sector partners in Alabama and the region.
Auburn University will continue to seek new and innovative ways to reach out to the people it serves. As a land-grant university, our research, extension and outreach programs help to fuel our state's economic growth.