Wichita jet builder hiring again

Hawker Beechcraft uttered two words Thursday that haven't been used by Wichita's business jet builders for some time.

"We're hiring."

Hawker Beechcraft plans to add more than 100 engineers by the end of the year, including 60 in the next three or four months.

It also plans to hire 40 to 50 people in its supply chain and operations areas in the next 90 to 120 days.

"To be able to do this in the current environment is a very exciting thing for our company," said Rich Jiwanlal, Hawker Beechcraft's vice president for human resources.

The need to hire arises as Hawker Beechcraft designs new products, upgrades existing ones and explores new markets for its commercial and military products, Jiwanlal said.

The company "is exploring international markets very, very aggressively," he said.

Wichita lost thousands of aviation jobs as the economy took a downturn and manufacturers experienced slow orders and cancellations.

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