GE Aviation recently broke ground for its new machining factory in West Jefferson, NC. The new 80,000-ft² expansion will allow for increased capacity as the shop assumes additional machining work. The increase in volume is driven largely by orders for the new LEAP jet engine of CFM International, a 50:50 joint company of GE and Snecma (Safran) of France. CFM has logged total orders and commitments with airlines for more than 6000 LEAP engines, and it does not enter service until 2016. It will power new Airbus A320neo, Boeing 737 MAX, and COMAC (China) C919 aircraft. GE could begin hiring at the expanded facility as early as 2015. Within five years, the plant's workforce is expected to grow to 265 people with capacity to do both rough and finished machining of components for the core of the engine (disks, spools, shafts). To prepare for the new workload, GE will partner with Wilkes Community College.