Thursday, October 4, 2018

Hydro Breaks Ground on Facility Expansion that Will Create More Jobs

On Tuesday, a groundbreaking event was held at Hydro, an aluminum manufacturing facility in Cressona, for an expansion that will create more jobs.
Last week, Governor Tom Wolf announced that Hydro, a global supplier of extruded aluminum serving the construction, transportation, infrastructure, and energy industries, will expand its Cressona manufacturing facility, a move that is expected to create 60 family-sustaining jobs in Schuylkill County where the expansion will take place.

“Hydro is a cornerstone of Schuylkill County, employing thousands of manufacturing workers in the area,” Governor Wolf said. “The company’s decision to further invest in its Cressona location means it will remain a cornerstone for years to come. This expansion is great news because it reflects the economic momentum steadily growing in the region.”

Hydro’s current Cressona facility was commissioned by the U.S. government during WWII with unique design features intended to protect the building from wartime attack. Therefore, due to the building’s hardened construction features, build-out of the existing facility is severely limited and would prevent the company from meeting production deadlines. As a result, this expansion project consists of the construction of a 96,000-square-foot facility on the property adjacent to its existing facility. This building addition will provide new manufacturing capabilities essential to compete in the automotive market. In addition, the company plans to make infrastructure improvements to the existing facility, as well as purchase and modernize equipment to increase overall reliability and efficiency. Hydro plans to invest more than $100 million into the project, which is expected to create 60 new jobs over the next three years and retain a further 1,307 jobs.

“This state-of-the-art high performance press will enable us to make high strength precision parts for highly engineered applications, like the automotive industry which relies on Cressona to supply key components for lightweight vehicle designs,” said Charles Straface, business area president for Extrusion North America at Hydro. “Our growth in the automotive segment is something Hydro is very proud of, and we are pleased to invest additional assets here in Pennsylvania.”

Hydro received a funding proposal from the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) for a $950,000 Pennsylvania First Grant, $120,000 in Job Creation Tax Credits to be distributed upon the creation of new jobs, and $40,000 in WEDnetPA funding to support incumbent worker training. Hydro may also be eligible to receive assistance through the Manufacturing Tax Credit Program, the Research and Development Tax Credit, and the Qualified Manufacturing Innovation and Reinvestment Deduction. The project was coordinated by the Governor’s Action Team, an experienced group of economic development professionals who report directly to the governor and work with businesses that are considering locating or expanding in Pennsylvania.

“Companies like Hydro, and its predecessors Sapa, Alcoa, and Cressona Aluminum, are jewels for any community, and this facility has a long and storied history in Cressona,” said Steve Field, SEDCO chairman. “This facility employs over 1,000 people, the company pays its employees sustainable wages, and is always looking for ways to innovate. We are very thankful for the assistance offered by Governor Wolf, the Governor’s Action Team, Senator Dave Argall and Representative Mike Tobash. This truly is an investment in Schuylkill County’s future.”

Hydro is a fully integrated aluminum company with 35,000 employees in 40 countries on all continents, combining local expertise, worldwide reach and unmatched capabilities in R&D. In addition to production of primary aluminum, rolled and extruded products and recycling, Hydro also extracts bauxite, refines alumina and generates energy, making it the only 360° company of the global aluminum industry. Hydro is present within all market segments for aluminum, with sales and trading activities throughout the value chain. Hydro is currently the largest manufacturing employer in Schuylkill County.

Photos Courtesy of Hydro