Company Breaks Ground on New Manufacturing Plant in Falconer, Retaining Nearly 700 Jobs
Governor David A. Paterson today announced that SKF Aeroengine North America will invest nearly $18 million in a new heat treat facility in Falconer, New York. The company will retain all 691 high-paying positions in Chautauqua County. As part of this investment, the company will be installing a new high-tech vacuum furnace. This furnace will allow for a heat treatment process called Pyrowear 675, which involves both vacuum carburizing and vacuum hardening. The heat treatment process in bearing manufacturing is viewed as a very critical operation.
“This is a tremendous investment in New York State’s manufacturing base and one that helps solidifies SFK’s long-term viability in Chautauqua County,” Governor Paterson said. “Because of the significant and highly valued nature of this type of manufacturing, this investment will allow SKF the capacity to make additional investments in the future. What’s more, other local New York State businesses, particularly parts suppliers, will be positively impacted by this expansion of SKF’s facilities in Falconer. I applaud Tom Johnstone and his team and would like to thank SKF for their continued commitment to the southern tier of Western New York.”
Tom Johnstone, President and CEO of AB SKF, said: “We are very pleased to dedicate the construction commencement of this significant investment in SKF’s operations in Falconer. This new facility enables us to bring together all local operations to the Falconer campus, and implement a state-of-the-art heat treat operation with cutting edge technology that will process parts for four aerobearing operations in the U.S., as well as for Venture Aerobearings, our joint venture with GE, in Charleston, South Carolina. While SKF is making a significant investment in this project, it would not have been possible without the dedicated support of the State of New York and the various organizations. This is something the local community can take great pride in securing.”
To help offset the costs of this project; Empire State Development (ESD) offered SKF $2.75 million, with a $1.375 million grant from both the Manufacturing Assistance Program and Upstate Regional Blueprint Fund. Additionally, the company will receive $250,000 each from the New York State Assembly and the New York State Senate, as well as two megawatts of hydropower from the New York Power Authority (NYPA).
Empire State Development Chairman and CEO Dennis M. Mullen said: “Projects like this are exactly why Governor Paterson created the Upstate Regional Blueprint Fund—to promote economic development by helping leverage private capital investment across New York State. The long-term impact an $18 million investment has on the Chautauqua County economy and community cannot be underscored. ESD is proud to be able to assist SKF expand its operations, but more importantly, keep such critical, high-technology jobs in the area that will contribute to the long-term sustainability and prosperity of both SKF’s operations and the regional economy.”
New York Power Authority President and CEO Richard M. Kessel said: “NYPA is pleased to provide SKF with the benefit of two megawatts of low-cost hydro power, which in turn will help preserve some 691 jobs in the Jamestown area. The NYPA Board and Governor Paterson have been extremely supportive of the Authority’s efforts to utilize its hydropower to preserve and create as many jobs as possible. It's an important economic tool that is helping to preserve tens of thousands of jobs statewide.”
Founded in 1907, SKF is the world’s leading manufacturer in rolling bearing and related products and is represented in more than 130 countries. The company employs nearly 42,000 people and has more than 120 manufacturing facilities worldwide, with 25 plants and some 3,600 employees located in the USA. SKF Aeroengine N.A. includes the aerospace, specialty and remanufacturing businesses at Falconer and Jamestown, New York; SKF Specialty Balls, in Colebrook, Connecticut; and the SKF Aero Bearing Service Center in Charleston, South Carolina. Of the business unit’s 842 employees, 691 are employed at its Jamestown and Falconer locations in New York State.
SKF Aeroengine North America is a leader in high precision, custom-engineered ball and roller bearings for critical aeroengine and specialty applications, including ball and roller bearings for helicopters, main shaft and gearboxes for jet engines and various types of aircraft power assemblies. Specialty products are custom-designed bearings for technically and environmentally demanding applications such as pumps, motors and power transmission assemblies. Since 1973, the Falconer plant has reconditioned ball and roller bearings to like-new condition for aircraft and engine overhauls.
The following statements were provided in support of the SKF Aeroengine North America investment in Falconer, New York:
Senator Catharine Young said: “SKF’s investment and expansion is a win of enormous proportions for Chautauqua County. We were faced with competition from other states for the heat treat facility, which created a huge challenge that had to be overcome. Everyone involved rolled up their sleeves and went to work, with the best possible results. The NYPA hydropower especially provided a great incentive, along with other investments from the State, including an additional $250,000 grant that I was pleased to secure through the Senate. We are deeply grateful to SKF for their continued commitment to our region. Everyone who stepped up and delivered to save these vital jobs and make this exciting new endeavor happen deserves tremendous credit.”
Assemblyman William L. Parment said: “This marks a renewal and a new beginning. Chautauqua County has always been proud to be the location of SKF Bearings, and this investment not only anchors what has been a successful manufacturing enterprise but provides opportunities for the future. I extend my thanks to SKF’s management, the local workforce and all the partners who have made this project possible.”
Chautauqua County Executive Gregory J. Edwards said: “There are so many individuals and groups to thank for pulling this wonderful project together, but our most heartfelt thanks go to SKF AB in Sweden for believing in our area and the local SKF Aeroengine management and employees who worked to make it happen. This state-of-the-art heat treat facility will be the anchor for over 600 SKF employees to stay in Chautauqua County, keeping a critical part of our workforce, with their significant contributions to our local economy here.”
Bill Daly, CEO and Administrative Director of the Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency said: “The SKF Aeroengine heat treat project is a great testimony to private and public sectors working together. The parties to this collaboration were of course on the private side SKF Aeroengine and their employees, and on the public side Empire State Development Corporation, the Governor’s office, both the New York State Senate and Assembly, Chautauqua County, the County of Chautauqua Industrial Development Agency, the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities, the New York Power Authority, the Village of Falconer, the Town of Ellicott, Falconer Central Schools, and the New York State Office of Community Renewal. It was a true pleasure to work with all these groups to end with this great result.”
Village of Falconer Mayor David E. Krieg said: “On behalf of the Village of Falconer Trustees and residents, we welcome the SKF addition. SKF and its predecessor, MRC, have been a part of our Village for many years. They have proven to be one of our best employers and supporter’s of our community. We are thrilled that with this addition, they are committing to good jobs in our Village.”
Town of Ellicott Supervisor Cecil Miller III said: “I am thrilled that SKF has decided to reinvest in our town. It is personally gratifying to see the cooperation at the State, county, city, town and village level to make this project a reality. SKF had many choices on where to build this facility. We are grateful that they chose Chautauqua County and it shows their confidence not only in our exceptional workforce, but in our business friendly climate.”
Mayor of Jamestown Sam Teresi said: “This is a wonderful example of the good that happens when all parties work together toward a common goal. Clearly, this multi-million dollar development for the Greater Jamestown Region would have not been possible without the confidence and investment of the SKF management team, the commitment and cooperation of the outstanding UAW-Local 338 workforce and the key public sector leadership response by New York State, the Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency and the City of Jamestown’s Board of Public Utilities. Again, on behalf of the 70,000 residents of Greater Jamestown, I offer my congratulations and appreciation to all involved with making this landmark project possible.”
Dave Leathers, General Manager of the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities, said: “The construction of the SKF Aeroengine Heat Treat Facility in Falconer is of overwhelming importance to the greater Jamestown community. A portion of the mission statement of the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities highlights that the BPU will provide efficient, cost effective utility services while ‘actively encouraging the economic growth and development of its community.' The BPU is proud to be one of the many partners who have worked hard to bring this outstanding project to western New York. On behalf of the JBPU Board and all of our employees, I wish SKF Aeroengine and the local SKF team the very best in this new endeavor.”