scroll back to top of page

Success Story: GKN Aerospace

Parent Company:

GKN plc.


Worcestershire, United Kingdom.


More than 17,000 in 62 locations across 14 countries, including approximately 150 in South Carolina.

Products and Services:

A provider of complex, high-performance, high-value components and assemblies for aerostructures, engine products, landing gear and wiring systems and special products including glass, acrylic and polycarbonate transparencies and ice protection systems.

“GKN is proud to be part of the growing South Carolina aerospace community. Recently, we expanded our presence in Orangeburg South Carolina by opening our second manufacturing facility. We have found that Orangeburg provides us the right mix of talent to fuel our growth plans for the area.”

Mike Grunza, CEO, GKN Aerospace Aerostructures North America, June 2015

Part of South Carolina’s dynamic aerospace industry, GKN Aerospace thrives in the Palmetto State and around the world.

In 2011, GKN Aerospace, a provider of aerostructures, propulsion systems and transparencies, was looking for an available advanced manufacturing site in the Southeastern United States – a region experiencing tremendous aerospace industry growth. In November of that year, the company officially announced its selection of Orangeburg County, South Carolina for its new advanced manufacturing operations. When the 150,000-square-foot facility opened in August 2012, it bolstered South Carolina’s already rapidly-growing aerospace sector. Between 2010 and 2012, the Palmetto State enjoyed annual aerospace employment growth of more than 15%. To capitalize on the highly-skilled workforce already present within the state, GKN has partnered with Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College, which provides both pre-hire and post-hire training tailored to fit the company’s specific needs.

After three years of success, GKN decided to further its commitment to advanced manufacturing in South Carolina, investing $20 million to construct a 126,000-square-foot inlet lip skins production facility adjacent to the existing operations. With a high-flying aerospace and aviation sector, GKN Aerospace has found a perfect home in the Palmetto State. And, as a result, the sky is the limit for this influential company.

Successes in SC

  • Initially, GKN Aerospace’s South Carolina operations focused on the manufacture of fuselages for the Honda Aircraft Company, producing approximately four each month.
  • In 2013, GKN Aerospace was selected to manufacture Boeing’s advanced-technology winglet for its 737 MAX single-aisle aircraft.
  • In June of 2015, GKN Aerospace announced that it had plans to open a new manufacturing facility to produce inlet lip skins for the Boeing 737 MAX and 777X.

Ready to grow your Aerospace business in South Carolina?