Springfield firm growing, placing emphasis on aerospace sector – Springfield News Sun

Springfield and Clark County have long played an important role in the region’s aviation history.

The area is also home to firms like Champion GSE and HDI Landing Gear USA, which was recently awarded a contract to supply landing gear systems for Boeing’s 777 and 777X programs.

Now those Clark County companies are among several in the Miami Valley that might benefit from a recent federal designation that recognized a 27-county area from Springfield to Northern Kentucky as the Southwestern Ohio Aerospace Region.

The two-year designation allows local organizations, including firms in Springfield, to get preferential treatment when seeking government funding to support aerospace manufacturing.

“We’re very proud to be the home of some of the finest manufacturing and engineering companies in the country, and the quality of suppliers here is second to none,” said Tom Franzen, Springfield assistant city manager and economic development administrator. “Companies like Champion and HDI choose Springfield because of its unbeatable location, high-quality workforce and competitive tax environment.”

Champion GSE, a 136-year-old Springfield manufacturing firm, has its roots as a company that produced embalming fluid for the funeral industry.

But in aviation, the company is better known for the high-tech engine stands and other products its manufactures for customers like GE Aviation and Pratt and Whitney.

The company, which has about 100 employees in Clark County, has a long history making products for the industry. A container produced by the firm was once used to store one of the lenses for the Hubble Space Telescope and was part of an exhibit at the Smithsonian museum and research complex.

It’s not yet clear how or if the federal aerospace designation will benefit Champion GSE, said Todd DeVore, vice president and general manager of the firm. Company staff members are researching the issue.

“We don’t know what the full impact could be at this point,” DeVore …read more

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