GE Aviation has finalized plans to break ground this year on an advanced composite component factory near Asheville in Western North Carolina. The new 125,000-ft² (next to an existing GE Aviation machining plant) will produce engine components made of advanced ceramic matrix composite (CMC) materials. GE could begin hiring at the new CMC components plant as early as 2014. Within five years, the workforce at the plant is expected to grow to more than 340 people. The new facility will be part of a larger commitment by GE Aviation to invest $195m across its North Carolina operations through 2017. GE Aviation has more than 1,300 employees in North Carolina at sites in Durham, West Jefferson, Wilmington, and Asheville. Overall, the new CMC facility, combined with plant and equipment upgrades at existing sites across North Carolina, will create 242 additional GE jobs by 2017.