Aircraft paint shop at Grissom a boon for economy

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A state-of-the-art aircraft painting facility has opened at the Grissom Aeroplex, bringing much-needed jobs to a county that lost the highest percentage of residents in the state between 1990 and 2000.

The nearly $14 million Dean Baldwin LP project expanded an old hangar built in the late 1950s. It now contains 155,000 square feet and can paint four of the largest airliners at once.

Dean Baldwin CEO Barbara Baldwin tells the Kokomo Tribune the company plans to paint and service more than 200 airplanes at the facility. She says the painting bays are already booked into next year.

Peru Mayor Jim Walker says the facility is a welcome success after Grissom's transition from an active duty Air Force base to a reserve base cost the county 4,500 jobs.

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