EMS Technologies Inc. held a groundbreaking celebration this week for a new, 30,000-square-foot expansion of its Defense & Space Systems Division (D&SS) facilities, located in Gwinnett’s Technology Park. More than 300 employees and special guests attended the event on September 29.

The expanded facility is scheduled to be completed in March 2009 and will serve as the new home for much larger labs and facilities for the division’s machine shop, B-2 lab, environmental lab and integration and test lab, among others. The expansion is much needed due to the strong growth of D&SS over the last 15 months. D&SS technology is integral to the Air Force’s F-22 Raptor and B-2 AEHF programs, while its RF and antenna systems power XM Radio and make LiveTV possible on JetBlue Airways.

“It’s a great day for EMS Technologies,” said EMS president and CEO Paul Domorski. “Despite the economic misfortunes occurring in the market, we have continued to expand. Since January 2007, the Defense and Space Systems business has grown by 35 percent, adding 127 more people. We would not want to build a new facility in this market if we didn’t believe in the people and in the markets we serve. We believe in our people, in our business and in our customers.”

David Smith, vice president and general manager of D&SS, credits the division’s success to its employees’ hard work and full engagement, noting, “The entire division got behind our growth strategy. We have expanded the business, including being successful at winning contracts that we expect to have higher annual production for a number of years. Today’s groundbreaking is an outward sign of our belief in this growth.”