Economic Development Recruiting MRO Facilities

One of the most important decisions a company must make when expanding and developing a facility is location.

One of the most important decisions a company must make when expanding and developing a facility is location. Taxes, workforce, transportation, population growth, neighboring businesses, education, grants, loans and state incentives are among the myriad factors that require deep consideration when choosing where to build the next facility. Working with an economic development organization can help mitigate the difficulty of this decision and help companies weigh the best locations.

Below are economic development companies representing 10 U.S. states that can be contacted through MRO Links for additional information on how its location differs from the competition.


1. Low Taxes in Texas

Company: Amarillo Economic Development

Place: Amarillo, Texas

Located in northern Texas, the Amarillo area boasts diversified manufacturing and a well-connected transportation system. Regional population is 268,000, with a median age of 34.7. Amarillo Rick Husband International Airport offers over 50 daily flights by American Eagle, Continental Express, Southwest Airlines and United Express. It’s a regional highway hub and a major rail crossroads: Two main lines of the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway with direct service to Chicago, Los Angeles, Denver, Phoenix, Kansas City, Dallas, Seattle, Vancouver, Memphis, St. Louis and Pensacola. The lines also terminate at the ports of Houston, San Diego and Galveston. Texas has many tax incentives: There is no personal income, state property or unitary tax (one of seven states without a personal income tax). With wide-open spaces available, it’s ideal for aircraft manufacturing, engine and engine-parts manufacturing and MRO.

LINK# 404


2. Environmentally Friendly Development

Company: Upper Michigan Green Aviation Coalition

Place: Upper Peninsula of Michigan

The Upper Michigan Green Aviation Coalition is a group of private and public sector stakeholders who are creating an industry cluster around the concept of green aviation. It joins private and public sector partners across the Upper Peninsula and bordering regions to generate new business opportunities, create jobs, produce new employee categories, promote investment, develop and commercialize advanced technologies, and expand existing third-party business and financing services within the field of green aviation. The Coalition has been able to leverage resources, provide a collaborative environment and feature regional companies within a national stage (resulting in members receiving contracts with Boeing, Lockheed Martin and General Dynamics among others).

LINK# 428


3. Workforce in Wisconsin

Company: Economic Development Center of Washington County

Place: Washington County, Wisconsin

Three big incentives to expand here include quality of life, a flourishing workforce and proximity to Milwaukee. Population growth rate is twice the state’s, and median household income exceeds state and national averages. The state’s business taxes are among the nation’s lowest, with property tax exemptions for manufacturing machinery/equipment, computer equipment, and inventories and pollution-control equipment. The state’s worker’s compensation and electric rates are also low.

LINK# 1175 


4. Education in Oklahoma

Company: Oklahoma Department of Commerce

Place: Oklahoma

Not only is Oklahoma designated as a UAS test site, it’s also a great place to develop an aviation company because of its educated workforce. Twelve of its colleges and universities have aerospace programs, and Oklahoma State University has the nation’s only UAS master’s and Ph.D. programs. Science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) jobs are expected to increase 22% from 2008 to 2017, and students graduating with STEM degrees increased 37% from 2003 to 2011. It’s home to the nation’s first UAS-focused degree program, and the FAA trains 20,000 Oklahoma students annually.

LINK# 515


5. Established Aviation Industries

Company: Enterprise Florida

Place: Florida

The public-private partnership of Enterprise Florida leads the state’s economic development. With 2,000-plus companies, the state ranks second in the U.S. for aviation and aerospace companies. The state also has 22 airports with runways of at least 10,000 ft. Florida’s 19 commercial airports account for 10% of the nation’s total passengers and carry about 8% of the nation’s air cargo.

LINK# 1177


6. Hub of Aviation Activity

Company: City of Goodyear

Place: Goodyear, Arizona

Goodyear features 300 acres of developable land at Phoenix-Goodyear Airport. It has an 8,500-ft. runway and handles over 120,000 flights annually. Goodyear is host to many aviation companies, including AeroTurbine, A2M Aviation Solutions, CTC Aviation, Dean Baldwin Painting, Galaxy International, Lockheed Martin, Lufthansa ATCA, LuxAir Jet Centers, PolyOne, Prime Solutions Group and Sonoran Technology.

LINK# 1065


7. Fixed-Wing Tax Exemption

Company: Pennsylvania Department & Community of Economic Development

Place: Pennsylvania

In Pennsylvania, MRO services are tax free, in a state with six international airports. With more than 740 aviation facilities, the fixed-wing tax exemption allows aircraft owners and operators to pay no sales or use taxes on the purchase of parts and services for fixed-wing aircraft maintenance, overhauls and repairs. The state hosts 131 public-use and 612 private-use aviation facilities and employs more than 288,700 people in Pennsylvania.

LINK# 1020


8. Alabama Aviation Facilities 

Company: Baldwin County Economic Development Alliance

Place: Baldwin County, Alabama

Baldwin County employs over 4,000 in aerospace, and Alabama has over 850 aircraft mechanics and service technicians. Home of Segers Aero and United Technologies Aerospace, the county has an abundance of facilities, aerospace personnel and nationally recognized training programs. Airbus recently announced plans to come to Mobile, and training opportunities in aerospace and aviation will soon be available at the H.L. “Sonny” Callahan Airport in Fairhope.

LINK# 1194


9. Investment in Education

Company: Louisiana Economic Development

Place: Louisiana

To help Louisiana’s established manufacturing sector, the state is making strategic investments in higher education programs to enhance skills and expertise. Louisiana’s aviation presence offers a wide variety of sites along with expedited permitting, and already includes established operations from AAR, Bell Helicopter, Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman.

LINK# 1071


10. Home to Many Aerospace Companies

Company: Georgia Department of Economic Development

Place: Georgia

More than 500 aerospace companies are already established in Georgia, employing 86,000. The state is home to the Daniel Guggenheim School of Aerospace Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology, a top-ranked aerospace engineering education program. Business travel is easy with 104 public and 339 private airports.

LINK# 1195

Comparison of State Taxes Texas Michigan  Wisconsin Oklahoma Florida Arizona Pennsylvania Alabama Louisiana Georgia
Personal Income Tax Rate None 4.25% 4.4- 7.65% 0.5- 5.25% None 2.59- 4.54% 3.07% 2.0- 5.0% 2.0-6.0% 1.0-6.0%
Corporate Income Tax or Gross Receipts Tax Rate *0.005-1.0% 6.00% 7.90% 6.00% 5.50% 6.00% 9.99% 6.50% 4.0-8.0% 6.00%
State Business Tax Climate Rank
and Component Tax Ranks (Overall Rank)
10 13 43 32 5 23 34 28 35 36
*Texas does not have a corporate income tax; however, it does impose a Franchise Tax Source: Federation of Tax Administrators, Tax Policy Center and Tax Foundation
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