YORK, Pa., Sept. 17, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Voith commemorated 135 years of hydropower manufacturing in the York area by hosting a celebration at its facility in West York. On Sunday, Voith employees and their families, customers, and honored guests including York-area Congressman Todd Platts were in attendance to celebrate the momentous occasion. The event included entertainment for children, factory and laboratory tours, and lunch. On Monday, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett spoke to Voith workers during an employee service recognition celebrating 1,585 years of service.
"For 135 years, the turbines used to produce energy to power millions of homes and businesses have come from the York area, and Voith is proud to be a part of this rich history of American manufacturing," Voith Hydro President and CEO Kevin Frank said. "We couldn't have done it without the support of the community and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and our employees who keep this factory running day in and day out. Voith will continue to provide the equipment that generates the renewable energy to power America and drives economic growth for its people. We look forward to celebrating many more anniversaries in York and the United States."
Voith traces its York-area hydropower manufacturing lineage to 1877, when Stephen Morgan Smith began designing and making hydraulic turbines. The company, incorporated as S. Morgan Smith, built a plant in York in 1890 and in 1953 began construction on a facility on East Berlin Road where Voith Hydro is currently located.
The Voith connection goes back to the S. Morgan Smith days when members of the Voith family would travel by steamship from Europe to the U.S. to visit the facility. In 1986, Voith Hydro acquired Allis-Chalmers, which had previously acquired S. Morgan Smith. When the original S. Morgan Smith plant opened in 1890, it employed 20 people. Today, Voith is a full-line supplier of hydropower equipment and services, including turbines, generators, and automation systems for both large and small hydro projects. The company now employs over 500 in York, making a strong contribution to the regional economy.
"Today is a special occasion for Pennsylvanians as we celebrate the 135th anniversary of American hydropower manufacturing in the York area," Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett said. "Pennsylvania is proud of its manufacturing success and the skilled Pennsylvanians who hold these jobs. Voith has shown with this important milestone, it's something that has been passed down from generation to generation. Hydropower isn't just powering our homes and our businesses - it's powering our economy, our recovery and our prosperity, too."
"I am honored to join Voith Hydro in celebrating its 135 years of manufacturing first-rate American hydropower equipment," Congressman Todd Platts said. "By expanding the use of hydropower, we not only create jobs in our community and across the country, but we also provide clean energy for America's future. Voith Hydro has been a longtime leader in the hydropower industry and an outstanding member of the local business community. I commend and congratulate its more than 500 employees on this remarkable achievement."
About the Company
Voith sets standards in the markets energy, oil & gas, paper, raw materials and transportation & automotive. Founded in 1867, Voith employs almost 40,000 people, generates € 5.6 billion in sales, operates in about 50 countries around the world and is today one of the biggest family-owned companies in Europe.
Voith Hydro is a Group Division of Voith and - with a workforce of approx. 5,300 employees and a sales volume of more than 1.2 billion Euros in the business year 2010/2011 – belongs to the worldwide leading companies for hydro power equipment.
The Importance of Hydropower
Hydropower is the largest, oldest and most reliable form of renewable energy generation. Worldwide, it makes an indispensable contribution to stable power supplies and hence to economic and social development - both in industrial countries and in emerging markets. Hydro-power also makes a significant contribution to climate-protecting energy production. Voith has been a leading supplier of this technology from the early beginning and continuously develops it further.
SOURCE Voith Hydro