New York Blower Breaks Ground on ‘Growth Platform’

NEW CASTLE, Pa. – The expansion of New York Blower Co.’s plant in the Shenango Commerce Park will provide a platform for the company’s growth, its president said.

New York Blower broke ground Wednesday on a 30,000-square-foot addition adjacent to its 15,000-square-foot building. The company, based in Willowbrook, Ill., manufactures fans and blowers for industrial buildings and original equipment manufacturers.

The $4.7 million expansion “should increase our capacity threefold out of this location,” Joe Centers, president and CEO, said, adding that he expects to be in full production by next summer.

The privately held, 128-year-old company entered New Castle when it purchased the former Mas Air Systems Inc. about eight years ago.

This project is very important to the future success of our organization. We see this as a growth platform for the company that’s going to take us for the next 25 to 50 years,” Centers said.

It’s always a happy day in the life of a chamber executive when we have a groundbreaking ceremony or a ribbon cutting. It’s really what we live for,” said Alex McCoy, CEO of the Lawrence County Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Linda Nitch, business development director for the chamber, said the plant’s manager, Mike Hando, contacted her about a year ago to learn what incentives might be available.

Shenango Township and the Lawrence County Board of Commissioners approved a tax abatement district for the Shenango Commerce Park, said Al Burick Jr., who serves on the township’s board of supervisors. The five-year abatement on real estate improvements is 100% for the first year and declines over the term of the abatement.

Anytime something like this happens, we’re going to do whatever we can to point them in the right direction and give them a hand,” Commissioner Robert DelSignore Sr. said.

Other incentives approved for the project include a $75,000 Pennsylvania First grant, an $18,400 WEDnet grant for job training and $44,000 in job creation tax credits to be distributed upon the creation of the new jobs.

We have an expertise at this location in this type of equipment,” Centers said. “We wanted to build on our expertise at this location in building this type of equipment and the engineering that backs it up.”

The plant here has about 20 employees and he anticipates at least doubling that, to around 50, he said.

The company has several locations where it could have expanded, the chamber’s McCoy said, and the fact that they chose this site “sends the message that Lawrence County is open for business.”

The new building will focus on industrial fans capable of up to 1,500 horsepower for heavy industrial applications such as steel mills, paper mills, cement plants and petrochemical firms.

The expansion will allow the plant to manufacture industrial blowers and fans that could reach to the crane system of the existing building, The expansion will be at least 40 feet high, 10 feet taller than the existing building, he said.

We see this as a very significant growth engine for our company. It’s an area we’ve always wanted to get into,” Centers said. “We have a small footprint with our current facility here and we just see a very good opportunity to expand our business.”

Pictured: Lawrence County Regional Chamber of Commerce CEO Alex McCoy, chamber business development director Linda Nitch, New York Blower President Joe Centers and Shenango Township Supervisors Al Burick, Russ Riley and Frank Augustine break ground on New York Blower’s expansion.

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