Wabtec to invest $2.7 million to increase capacity, creating 38 new jobs
Wabtec Corporation, a manufacturer for the heavy rail and rail transit industries worldwide, will invest $2.7 million to expand its existing Graham-White facility in Salem to accommodate the relocation of its pneumatically controlled braking systems manufacturing lines, according to a July 19 announcement from Gov. Glenn Youngkin. Virginia beat out Missouri, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Mexico for the 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 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.