Jobs (And Lean) In Store For Montreal

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In case you missed it, the skate-and-stick brigade isn't the only group of highly skilled craftsmen in and around Montreal headed back to work soon.

Lockheed Martin's decision to cobble together assets from the former Aveos engine maintenance facility and re-open the shop's doors under the Kelly Aviation Center Montreal banner could put as many as 200 jobs back on the local payroll in the next two years. (The Aveos closure cut a reported 1,200 jobs in Montreal alone, though some are returning thanks to other post-Aveos ventures.)

Amy Gowder, general manager of Lockheed Martin's other engine maintenance facility, San Antonio's Kelly Aviation Center, will step into the same role in Montreal--at least for a while. She tells Aviation Week that plans call for the Montreal and San Antonio centers to combine resources where it makes sense, such as in IT, human resources, and business development. A dedicated senior management team will be put in place in Montreal, and she will hand over the GM reins and oversee both facilities, splitting time between them.

Look for Gowder, who earned her way onto Aviation Week's 40 Under 40 list of top aerospace executives last year, to do a lot more than keep the full-time-GM-to-be's chair warm as the Montreal facility ramps up. Her eight years at Lockheed Martin include extensive experience in supply chain operations and maximizing efficiency with an eye on cost. (Her job title before being named GM at Kelly San Antonio last April? Director of Affordability.) 

In less than a year at Kelly, Gowder has seen how valuable that facility's commitment to lean is proving to be, and plans to help introduce the program in Montreal.

"We believe the lean culture will make us more competitive," she says. "We'll have a definite emphasis on lean [in Montreal]."

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