For DeAnna McCullen, President of Goldsboro Machine Works, Inc., it was a no brainer. In order to be competitive and to continue to grow the business, being aerospace certified was the next step.
“Anybody producing products for the aerospace industry now have to be certified,’ said McCullen. “In the past you could do work for another supplier that was certified as long as somebody in the chain was certified, but now Boeing and Airbus and the big aerospace companies are requiring all suppliers all the way down to the bottom level be 9100 certified.”
On July 8th, 2010, Goldsboro Machine Works, Inc. became the second Aerospace Standard AS9100 and International Quality System Standard ISO 9001 certified machine shop in Wayne County, and one of only two with the AS9100 certification in the Eastern Region of North Carolina. Although the company had an ISO equivalent quality control program in place, it was feeling the pressure from suppliers like AAR Cargo Systems of Goldsboro and Kidde Aerospace & Defense of Wilson to have the AS9100 and ISO9001:2008 certifications.
The certification process took nearly two years to complete. The training was paid for by Wayne Community College and the certification and audits were paid by Goldsboro Machine Works, Inc. A small price to pay for the competitive advantage that Goldsboro Machine now has in being qualified to do work for aerospace companies such as Spirit AeroSystems of Kinston, and future companies that are sure to locate in the region.
“How important is this to our county and region?” asked Mike Haney, Existing Industry Specialist for Wayne County Development Alliance, Inc. “We are in North Carolina’s Eastern Region, which is one of seven economic development partnerships in the state. It encompasses 13 counties, of which Wayne is one. One of their priority clusters is defense and aerospace and this (certification) fits perfectly within that realm.”
“They are on the front end of this. You can think of it as a certificate of dreams much like you think of a field of dreams – you get the certificate and hope the business will come. Well, the business is going to be there.”
“This is a big, big deal,” said Haney. “It is the holy grail for machine shops. As DeAnna stated, this is going to open up numerous opportunities.”
Efforts to establish Wayne County and the Eastern Region as an emerging aerospace cluster are well supported by companies like AAR Cargo Systems, Goldsboro Machine Works, Inc. and Petra Precision Machine (Wayne County company also AS9100/ISO9001:2008 certified) who see the value of these certifications and the significant impact it has on economic development in Wayne County.