Aerospace firm flies across state line; Kansas mum on incentives

Triumph Group Inc., a Berwyn, Pa.-based aerospace manufacturer, will employ about 180 at its new 156,000-square-foot plant in Edgerton, a company spokeswoman said Tuesday.
On Monday, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback took part in a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the new facility, which is located in Logistics Park Kansas City. The company began moving its Kansas City-area operations across the state line from Grandview last month and expects to complete the move to LPKC by June 2017.
So how much in economic development border-war incentives did the State of Kansas offer to lure Triumph Group (NYSE: TGI) and its jobs across the line?
Nicole Randall, a spokeswoman for the Kansas Department of Commerce, said “contracts have not been completed so the specifics of any incentives are unavailable at this time.”
She didn’t say when that might change, but don’t hold your breath. The department said the same thing in February 2015, when Dairy Farmers of America Inc., Kansas City’s largest private employer, announced it would jump the state line and build a new $30 million headquarters in Kansas City, Kan.
That facility is nearly complete now, but the Commerce Department still hasn’t disclosed the type or volume of incentives that DFA was offered.
While the Missouri Department of Economic Development typically releases that information as soon as news breaks of a corporate relocation in the other direction, Kansas generally withholds information on the use of its most prolific border-war incentive, Promoting Employment Across Kansas (PEAK) grants.
In fact, the state’s KanView website, which is supposed to be dedicated to “transparency in government,” hasn’t updated its PEAK grant data since Aug. 31, 2015.
While Brownback didn’t shed any light on the border-war issue during his appearance in Edgerton, he did express his excitement over luring more Triumph jobs to Kansas. With the addition of the new facility at LPKC, Triumph now has three factories in Kansas with a total of approximately 500 employees. The other Kansas sites are the Triumph precision components facility in Wichita and a product support facility in Wellington.
“This is a great day for our state and the community and highlights the vibrancy of our aerospace sector,” Brownback said. “We thank the Triumph Group for their continued investment and long-term commitment to growing their operations in Kansas. We are pleased to have such a strong partnership with the Triumph Group as evidenced by them now having three plants in our state and know this will be a successful relationship for many years to come.”
The new manufacturing plant at LPKC was built to accommodate the company’s growth and expanding technologies. The factory is Triumph’s new Small and Medium Parts Center of Excellence, which provides machining and assembly of aircraft components made from aluminum and various hard metal alloys. Products include landing gear structure and assemblies, seat/cargo tracks, floor beams, thrust reverser beams, stringer end fittings, wing attach fittings, installation brackets, hinge arm assemblies and engine inlet assemblies.
“Triumph is pleased to locate an advanced manufacturing operation in Kansas,” Rick Rosenjack, executive vice president of Triumph Precision Components, said in a release. “We selected the LPKC development due to strong support from the state of Kansas and the local community in Edgerton, close proximity to an established training facility, exceptional logistics, and readily available space for future expansion. The short distance from Grandview to Edgerton also allows us to retain a majority of our experienced employees, which is critical to continuity of production for our valued customers.”

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