MADE IN ARIZONA: Mesa-based business manufactures computers for military use

MESA, Ariz. (KSAZ) -- A family-owned business in the Valley has been making an impact across the country for more than two decades.

Geco Inc. calls itself a small business, but it has a big job to do.

"We're very fortunate to be a supplier to one of the major defense programs in the country," said George Graves CTO of Geco Inc. "We do things like controls, displays, and cruise stations in the back of aircraft as well for special missions. We're very fortunate to be a supplier to one of the major defense programs in the country. We do things like controls, displays, and cruise stations in the back of aircraft as well for special missions."

Geco Inc., which is family-owned, is based in Mesa, and opened about 23 years ago. George and Jennifer Graves run the shop, responsible for designing and manufacturing computers for aircraft on military platforms: missiles, gunships, tankers, and helicopters like the AH-64 Apache.

The demand is high, and so are the standards, so Geco recruits new, enthusiastic, and intelligent talent from the Valley.

"We've been working with Mesa Public Schools. And Arizona State University," said George.

Interns get to come in, get paid, get credit, and get on-the-job training. That's not a bad gig for kids like Sean, a mechanical engineering student at ASU.

"It's actually a really cool bragging point," said Sean. "I can tell all my friends that I built a computer that goes directly into the Apache."

"We bring them in and give them some exposure to manufacturing, integration and test," said George. "And then, ultimately, design engineering."

From design to execution, it all happens here. As Jennifer Graves says, it's an important job to do.

"The Air Force colonel came in and gave a voice of the customer to our staff, which was really fantastic, and told them that because of our displays, the soldiers can now tell the difference between somebody carrying a rake and a gun," said Jennifer. "So, it matters."

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