MILTON, Pa., June 5, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Governor Tom Corbett today spoke during the grand re-opening celebration of ACF Industries' rail car manufacturing plant in Milton.
"Just four short years ago, this plant lay idle, one of the countless casualties of a national recession that cost millions of Americans their jobs and struck at the very heart of our nation's confidence," Corbett said.
"But now, because of Pennsylvania ingenuity and innovation, our booming energy sector has led to an increase for demand in rail cars to transport goods," Corbett said.
ACF closed its Milton plant in 2009 because of declining sales. Current growth in the energy industry has created a shortage of railroad storage tank cars and components, allowing ACF to re-open the plant in the spring of 2013.
Already hiring 230 employees since its reopening, ACF expects to create a total of 333 jobs and retain 20 existing jobs in the next three years. The company received $483,000 in state funding from the Governor's Action Team for machinery and equipment purchases, as well as employee training.
"The rebirth of this company represents growth in traditional manufacturing, re-energized by the natural gas industry," Corbett said. "By supporting our expanding energy sector and helping to connect industries, we are helping to create a new Pennsylvania."
"Last year, by working with labor, industry and all levels of government, we saved all three Philadelphia refineries," Corbett said. "Making sure that those refineries stayed open didn't just save jobs, it opened up opportunities not directly related to refining and the proof is right here where we stand today at this rail yard in Milton."
Rail cars manufactured in Milton will be shipped to gas fields in the Dakotas and Canada and will be used to carry crude oil to refineries across the country, including the Philadelphia refineries.
Also, because of the increased extraction of propane from Marcellus Shale and continued growth in the natural gas industry, the company is making plans to begin manufacturing stationary propane tanks at the Milton location by the end of 2013.
A large natural gas consumer itself, ACF chose to re-open its Milton plant, as opposed to another location in the United States, because of the low cost of energy in Pennsylvania.
"I've said it frequently that energy equals jobs and nowhere is that more evident than in Pennsylvania in 2013. Oil refineries, natural gas power and the rail industry are all benefiting because we chose to seize a growing opportunity to build a better Pennsylvania," Corbett said.
"In many ways, today's visit speaks to the goals we laid out two years ago upon taking office: to create good-paying, lasting jobs, to grow the economy and to create a climate where businesses move here, expand here and hire here," Corbett said. "We chose to take a bold new course that started with an idea and resulted in progress."
For more information, visit www.pa.gov.
Media contact: Kelli Roberts, 717-783-1116
SOURCE Pennsylvania Office of the Governor