RALEIGH – Aerospace giant Raytheon will build a 1-million square foot aerospace manufacturing facility in Western North Carolina with 800 new jobs to be created.

Pratt & Whitney, a division of Raytheon, is to be the operator of the facility which will focus on high-tech turbine airfoil production.

“We are positioning North Carolina to come out of this pandemic with these and other good paying jobs which signals a bright future in aviation even with the current challenges the industry faces. Manufacturers know they can count on our strong workforce, our innovation and our leadership in uncertain times,” said Governor Roy Cooper in a statement.

An agreement with the state of North Carolina was approved by the NC Economic Investment Committee at a meeting Thursday morning.

A formal announcement was made later in Asheville near where the plant will be located.

“This investment will enable Pratt & Whitney to continue to modernize and transform its operations with cutting-edge technologies,” said Chris Calio, president of Pratt & Whitney. “Turbine airfoils are a critical component across our engine portfolio and demand will increase significantly as the market recovers over the next several years. We need to invest today to ensure that we have the infrastructure, production capabilities and workforce in place to meet future market demand and provide the best products to our customers worldwide. We are grateful for the support provided by the State of North Carolina and the local community.”

Raytheon says it will invest $650 million in the project.

Average pay for workers will be over $68,000.

The state has agreed to provide more than $15 million in tax incentives. Buncombe County also will provide incentives and worker training assistance will come from community college.

Raytheon selected North Carolina over South Carolina and Tennessee for the project, the NC Department of Commerce noted.

(This story will be updated.)