GE Aviation, a global leader in jet engine and aircraft system production, hosted a groundbreaking ceremony on November 14th, at the site of its new advanced composites factory near Asheville in Western North Carolina. The new 170,000-ft² will be the first to mass produce engine components made of advanced ceramic matrix composite (CMC) materials. GE will begin hiring at the new CMC components plant in 2014. Within five years, the workforce at the plant is expected to grow to more than 340 people. The existing workforce at GE Aviation’s current machining operation in Asheville will gradually transition to the CMC components plant. The introduction of CMC components into the hot section of GE jet engines represents a significant technology breakthrough for GE and the jet propulsion industry. CMCs are made of silicon carbide ceramic fibers and ceramic resin, manufactured through a highly sophisticated process and further enhanced with proprietary coatings. As part of its continued leadership and commitment to advanced manufacturing, GE plans to introduce more CMC components into future engine development programs.