Lockheed to invest $50M in Orlando, hiring 500

Defense contractor Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT) will invest more than $50 million at its Orlando, Fla., facility and create hundreds of new jobs.

Governor Rick Scott, R-Fla., announced on Wednesday that the investment would create 500 new positions for American workers, boasting an average salary of $87,064.

Overall, Lockheed said it plans to hire 1,800 new employees over the course of the next two years.

Earlier this month, Lockheed Martin was awarded a $148 million contract to manufacture its F-35 fighter jets, which are produced at the Orlando plant.

Lockheed’s investment in its Florida plant comes at a time when businesses are making investment decisions based on recent changes to the U.S. tax code.

“Lockheed Martin’s continued investment in Florida sends a strong message to aerospace and aviation business leaders that Florida is the most business-friendly state in the United States for aerospace and aviation companies,” Peter Antonacci, the CEO of Enterprise Florida Inc., said in a statement.

As previously reported by FOX Business, experts believe that the elimination of state and local tax (SALT) deductions may cause businesses to flee higher-tax states such as New York, New Jersey and California.

As of 2017, Florida was listed as one of the top five most-business-friendly states in the U.S., with New York, New Jersey and California listed as the three least business-friendly.

Lockheed Martin employs 100,000 across the globe.