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Continued: Cirrus Aircraft's new owner refuels with jet launch and hiring

  • Article by: DEE DEPASS , Star Tribune
  • Last update: March 23, 2013 - 3:57 PM

In August, they packed up a newborn and toddler and quit good-paying factory jobs in Michigan for a chance to make history in Duluth. “I saw this as an opportunity to get into a company with a really cool product,” said Craig, who was hired to handle IT support services for the jet program.

He joined at the right time. Today, Cirrus is dangling some interesting perks to boost hiring. Employees can learn how to fly an airplane, and they get supplier discounts on Microsoft, Garmin, Fastenal and AT&T products. They can also earn $250 to $2,500 just for referring a friend who ultimately gets hired.

Meanwhile, Cirrus’ Eltgroth is scouring for more engineers, mechanics, designers and technicians. The task isn’t easy, she says, but it’s a lot better than issuing pink slips: “I’ll take this any day over those very dark times.”


Dee DePass • 612-673-7725


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  • Betting on a single-engine futureCirrus Aircraft has pinned its hopes for regrowth on its new Vision SF50 jet, which the company projects will be the first single-engine jet on the market.A look at the Cirrus SF50 Vision:V-shaped tail500-pound engine sits on roof of the fuselageCabin height is 4.1 feet, width is 5.1 feetWingspan of 38.5 feetLength of 30.9 feetExpected price tag of just under $2 millionPhoto: Cirrus Aircraft

  • With a fresh cash infusion from the Chinese and a new jet launch on the horizon, Duluth-based Cirrus Aircraft is hiring again after the company slashed its workforce by more than half during the recession. Shown: Dale Klapmeier, co-founder and CEO. Photo by BRIAN PETERSON •

  • Assembly of Cirrus Aircraft’s SR-20 and SR-22 propeller planes continues even as the company presses ahead with planning for the new Vision SF50 single-engine jet that will go into production in 2015.

  • Patrick Bergen, left, Cirrus Aircraft’s lead airframe engineer, and Doug Griswold, vice president for the Vision SF50 program, near the SF50 test jet in Duluth.

  • Cirrus Aircraft

    Based: Duluth Founded: 1988

    CEO & co-founder: Dale Klapmeier, left

    Ownership: China Aviation Industry General Aircraft

    Products: Four-seat propeller airplanes. Also developing a new seven-seat jet.

    Employment in 2013: 565 total (Duluth: 480, Grand Forks: 85)

    Employment in 2008: 1,350

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