Business of the Year Awarded to Orizon Aerostructures

Chanute Chamber awards Orizon Aerostructures, Business of the Year

Chamber President Scott Cunningham presented the 2019 Business of the Year Award to Orizon Aerostructures.

The Business of the Year Award recognizes an outstanding business or industry that has made contributions in the following areas:  longevity of business, contributions to community, growth in sales/size/# of employees, economic impact, job creation, innovation/creativity, new/expanded product lines.

In five-short years, the company boasts a 225,000 square-foot assembly and processing workspace, and with plans to open an additional 120,000 square-foot building later this year.

Excerpt from the Award Narrative by President Cunningham:

The conversations and planning began in 2015. Now, 5 years later, there is 225,000 square feet of assembly and processing workspace in place with another 120,000 square feet to open this year.
Orizon Aerostructures in Chanute provides assembly, processing and warehousing for aviation parts. Orizon supplies complex structural components and major sub-assemblies for leading airframe manufacturers in the commercial aerospace, military fixed wing rotorcraft, missile/ground support and general aviation industries. Companies using Orizon manufactured parts include Spirit AeroSystems, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin and, coming soon, Airbus.

Chanute competed with 48 other cities to bring Orizon to their town.

When the competition was over, CEO Charlie Newell said, “Chanute was the right choice for us because of Chanute’s proximity to our existing facilities, the ability to assist with our hiring and training needs and the proven mechanical aptitude and work ethic of the people in southeast Kansas. ”

Not only has Orizon met the expectations of a $65 million investment promised in 2016, it has put its buildings on the tax rolls and the promised 150 employees has now grown to 307. The payroll in Chanute exceeds $15 million annually.

The Orizon campus makes detail parts and assemblies on many of the greatest aero-space products in the world. Their prime-penetrant and paint shop is one of the most modern and efficient processing plants in the world and their new 120,000 square foot assembly plant will require more than 100 new associates over the next few years.
Mr. Newell has talked about the unique partnership with the City of Chanute and other associates in our community and that partnership includes more than the investment in the buildings and employees.

Even before the doors opened and manufacturing began, Orizon Aerostructures looked for ways to be involved in the community. The company quickly became one of the “go to” businesses when volunteers or financial support was needed. They have contributed to numerous local charities such as Main Street Chanute’s Artist Alley, the Chamber’s Blues Blast and USD 413 Foundation. Employees serve on local boards of directors and assist in the Career and Technical Education efforts at Chanute High School.
Corporate leadership understands that being a good community member involves an outstanding commitment to the success of its business along with a commitment to the betterment of the home of its operations.

Orizon Aerostructures has made a difference in Chanute in many ways and we are fortunate to have been the finalist in that search. The Chamber is fortunate to be able to honor Orizon tonight and show our appreciation for their investment in our community.