Rail Equipment Manufacturer to Expand in Salem, Virginia

Wabtec to invest $2.7 million to increase capacity in the City of Salem, creating 38 new jobs

Photo courtesy of Wabtec.com

RICHMOND—Governor Glenn Youngkin today announced that Wabtec Corporation (NYSE: WAB), a leading manufacturer for the heavy rail and rail transit industries worldwide, will invest $2.7 million to expand its existing Graham-White facility in the City of Salem to accommodate the relocation of its pneumatically controlled braking systems manufacturing lines. Virginia successfully competed with Missouri, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Mexico for this project, which will create 38 new jobs.

“Wabtec Corporation’s expansion of its Salem facility fuels the resurgence of high-quality manufacturing jobs in Virginia, and we thank the company for its long-term commitment to the Commonwealth as a valued employer,” said Governor Glenn Youngkin. “The Roanoke Region offers the skilled workforce and custom solutions to support Wabtec’s continued growth, and we are confident they will thrive for the next 100 years in Virginia.”

“We are proud that Wabtec Corporation is able to relocate its braking systems production lines to the Salem plant due to the robust manufacturing talent in place in Virginia,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Caren Merrick. “The growth of our existing businesses is vital to the Commonwealth’s economic vitality, and we thank Wabtec for strengthening Virginia’s    manufacturing sector and creating 38 new jobs.”

“As a leading global provider of transportation solutions, we are proud of our long history of manufacturing excellence in Salem and delighted to be expanding our operations there,” said Mike Fetsko, President of Wabtec’s Freight & Industrial Components business. “Wabtec’s collaborative relationship with the Commonwealth of Virginia, and the business-friendly approach from state and local agencies, provided us with the confidence to make this significant investment. With new products and additional high-quality manufacturing jobs, our expansion in Salem represents our continued commitment to the community and its key role in supporting Wabtec’s future growth.”

“With a century-long relationship in the region, it was important for area leaders to ensure Wabtec’s continued success. We applaud Wabtec’s leadership selecting Salem as a site for continued growth for many years to come. In addition, we thank the local and regional efforts by the City of Salem, Greater Roanoke Workforce Development Board, Center for Manufacturing Excellence in SWVA, and Roanoke Regional Partnership,” said Dave Robbins, City of Salem EDA Chair.

“This expansion is a testament to the region’s continued competitiveness in transportation equipment manufacturing,” said John Hull, executive director of the Roanoke Regional Partnership. “Wabtec, through its Graham-White plant, has been actively manufacturing in the Roanoke Region for over a century. It is encouraging to see a longstanding manufacturer expanding production and providing strong employment opportunities.”

“Wabtec’s Graham-White plant has a storied history in Salem and we are thrilled for what this investment will do for the 38 Roanoke families that will directly benefit from these new, quality jobs,” said Senator David R. Suetterlein. “It’s critical that Virginia continue to pursue policies that make it easier to start and expand businesses in the Commonwealth.”

“I applaud Wabtec’s decision to expand their manufacturing operations in Salem,” said Delegate Joseph P. McNamara. “The Roanoke Region has a rich tradition of providing good-paying, blue-collar jobs. I commend all stakeholders, from VEDP to the City of Salem, for their efforts in facilitating new opportunities for our citizens.”

Since the early 1900s, Wabtec has partnered with transportation companies to develop heavy-duty pneumatic and electro-pneumatic valves and accessories. The company is a leading global provider of equipment, systems, digital solutions, and value-added services for the freight and transit rail industries, as well as the mining, marine, and industrial markets. Its Graham-White facility, which currently employs more than 200 in Salem, Virginia, manufactures air dryers, valves, gages/flowmeters, and braking equipment for rail freight, rail transit, truck, and bus industry customers.

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with the City of Salem and the Roanoke Regional Partnership to secure the project for Virginia and will support Graham-White Manufacturing’s job creation through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program (VJIP), which provides consultative services and funding to companies creating new jobs in order to support employee recruitment and training activities. As a business incentive supporting economic development, VJIP reduces the human resource costs of new and expanding companies. VJIP is state-funded, demonstrating Virginia’s commitment to enhancing job opportunities for citizens

The City of Salem, Roanoke Regional Partnership, Greater Roanoke Workforce Development Board, and Center for Manufacturing Excellence in SWVA will provide custom programs to support the company’s expansion in Salem, including talent recruitment, marketing assistance, and workforce training.

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Canatal Steel USA Announces Jobs and Investment in Botetourt County

canatal steel roanoke

CLOVERDALE, Va. (December 14, 2016) – Canatal Steel USA, Inc. will expand its Botetourt County facility to meet increased demand for manufactured structural steel for construction.  The company will invest $1.5 million in new equipment and create 38 jobs at its only U.S. facility.

“The Roanoke Valley is strategically located for our growing market and there is good quality labor for fabrication and assembly of structural steel,” said Canatal Industries President Ralph Poulin. “Also, transport costs are greatly reduced for our projects in DC, South Carolina and North Carolina, which will make Canatal more competitive in obtaining contracts.”

Canatal Steel USA is a subsidiary of Canatal Industries in Quebec, Canada. The Roanoke Regional Partnership recruited Canatal to Botetourt County in 2010. The company fabricates and installs structural steel beams for commercial, residential, institutional, and industrial buildings. It currently employs eighty-three in Cloverdale.

The new jobs will primarily be for welders and fitters. The company is interested in working with Botetourt County Public Schools to establish an apprentice program for welding students at the Botetourt Technical Education Center (B-Tech) in Fincastle, which recently earned accreditation from the American Welding Society. Services to support the company’s employee training activities will be provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program.

“Workforce training has been and will continue to be key to Canatal’s success in Botetourt County,” said Jack Leffel, chairman of the Botetourt County Board of Supervisors. “The welding program at B-Tech can help Canatal as well as match our graduates with good-paying jobs.”

“The success of our existing businesses is critical to the success of Botetourt County and the region,” said Gary Larrowe, Botetourt County administrator.  “We are committed to connecting our businesses with the resources that will support their long-term success.”

This is the fifth jobs announcement in Botetourt County in 2016 following on the heels of Arkay Packaging (60 jobs), Virginia Community College System (200 jobs), ELDOR Corporation (350), and Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits (178 jobs), for a total of 826 new jobs announced in Botetourt County in 2016.