Smiths Aerospace Components will open a second plant and create 305 new jobs in Western North Carolina. The $44 million investment was announced by Gov. Mike Easley late last week.

Smiths Aerospace, a supplier to both Boeing and Airbus, already operates a plant in Asheville that employs 295 people. It employs some 10,000 people.

The new plant will be built in West Jefferson and will produce turbine engine components.

The company will receive as much as $2.4 million in incentives from the state.