The funds are to be used for renovations and construction at the former Chase Field Naval Air Station outside of Beeville on State Highway 202.
The facility, now called the Chase Field Industrial Airport, is the home of a growing Sikorsky Aerospace Maintenance operation.
The offices of both U.S. Rep. Rubén Hinojosa (TX-15) and U.S. Sen. John Cornyn made announcements concerning the award.
Hinojosa visited the complex in person earlier this year. During the visit, he was informed of the operation’s Chase Field mission, the number of jobs the company had created and the potential for growth.
“I could not be more pleased to receive this news,” Rep. Hinojosa said. “I visited the hard-working folks at Chase Field and understood their situation very well. I came back to Washington, D.C., with them in mind. I will continue to work hard in helping the residents of my district keep their jobs and create more employment opportunities.”
“This is good news for the future of economic development in the area. The investment will give a boost to the local economy by creating jobs, and I applaud the local leaders who worked to secure this funding,” Sen. Cornyn said.
The Economic Development Administration (EDA) funding will be used to renovate two existing airplane hangars and to construct an adjacent warehouse at Chase Field. This project will allow for the expansion of an existing aeronautics operation on the site which will create additional opportunities for high-skilled jobs in the community.
BDA Executive Director Joe B. Montez said this is the boost the authority had been waiting for.
“We’re delighted, and we are very fortunate that we presented a very good application for this grant. We are also very fortunate that we had the backing of Congressman Hinojosa for this very important project,” Montez said.
He said Sikorsky Aerospace Maintenance is a division of Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation and the company currently employs about 300 people. He said the funds will be used primarily to upgrade the working area for the employees.
Laura Fischer, president of the Bee Development Authority board, said, “We are elated, because this will enable our tenants (Sikorsky) to grow. This means we will be able to offer more high-paying jobs to our residents, keeping them here at home. We are very grateful to our congressional delegation for shepherding this grant through.”
According to the EDA, this investment could create 250 jobs and retain up to 160 jobs.