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Berkeley, Charleston & Dorchester Counties
AAI Services Corporation expands technology business
Mar. 1, 2005For Immediate Release
AAI Services designs and produces aircraft maintenance training devices. In 1997, the company opened a facility in Summerville, SC to develop software and hardware systems to support maintenance training simulators for the U.S. Air Force C-17 program. The ongoing growth of its customer base, plus the addition of a new product line, made it necessary for the company to find a larger facility. Company officials considered many options including leasing or purchasing an existing facility or leasing a new facility built to its specifications.
“We found that the Charleston region addresses two critical issues for us,” said Mike Boden, AAI Corporation Executive Vice President of Programs. “First, we can retain our talented employees, many of whom moved here during the opening of the Summerville operation and have made this area their home. Second, we can continue to give back to a community that has supported us for the last eight years.” AAI Services employs more than 250 people in the Summerville area.
AAI Services internally focuses on the design aspects of its work, outsourcing all of its manufacturing. “We use as many local suppliers as possible,” said Boden. “In fact, as a defense contractor, one of our goals is to support small business and currently at least 55% of our outsourced work goes to small businesses.” The company employs a large number of technicians, plus software, electrical and mechanical engineers, with average annual salaries of approximately $52,000.
Ted Creech, Chairman of the Charleston Regional Development Alliance, noted that this announcement signals the continued growth of an aviation cluster for the region. “With AAI Services choosing to expand here, the Charleston region’s aerospace cluster becomes an even greater economic force,” he said. “We are extremely pleased to have been selected for this expansion.”
“This is exciting news for Berkeley County,” said Jim Rozier, Chairman of Berkeley County Council. “It’s a tremendous vote of confidence in our region to host an aircraft technology leader such as AAI Services Corporation. We are pleased to see such a progressive firm choose to expand in our region.”
Michael Heitzler, Mayor of Goose Creek, added that the region is home to a growing community of technology companies. “AAI Services Corporation could have chosen to relocate their operations anywhere in the country. We’re pleased and proud that they saw our city as a place to invest for the future,” he said.
About AAI Corporation
Headquartered in Hunt Valley, Maryland, AAI Corporation is a wholly owned subsidiary of United Industrial Corporation (NYSE: UIC). The company is focused on the design, production, and support of defense and training systems. In addition to unmanned aerial vehicle systems, its products include training and simulation systems, automated aircraft test and maintenance equipment, and logistical/engineering services for government-owned equipment. For more information on AAI, visit www.aaicorp.com.
About the Charleston Regional Development Alliance
The Charleston Regional Development Alliance represents Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester counties. Its mission is to broaden and diversify business investment in this region, with an emphasis on technology-intensive business sectors. Since its inception, the Alliance has worked with thousands of companies to help promote business investment and quality growth in the area. To learn more, go to www.charleston-for-business.com.
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Alliance Media Contacts:
Natalie J. Lawrence