FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
October 8, 1997
Governor George E. Pataki today announced Westinghouse Air Brake Company (WABCO) of Pennsylvania, founded 128-years ago by world- renowned New York-born inventor George Westinghouse, will open a 100,000-square-foot facility at the former Plattsburgh Air Force Base and create 150 jobs.
"Today the fruits of a son of New York come back home with the tremendous news that Westinghouse Air Brake will create 150 jobs in Plattsburgh," Governor Pataki said. "The North Country offers all New Yorkers a place where we can enjoy our State's natural treasures. But we must be constant in our efforts to create new and diverse jobs for the people of the North Country.
"It's a pleasure to welcome WABCO to Plattsburgh, where it can join with many other companies around the state as we roar into the 21st century," the Governor said. "Like General Motors in Massena, Mercedes-Benz in Rockland and Bombardier here in Plattsburgh, WABCO could have chosen to go anywhere in North America. But our aggressive and competitive business climate led them to New York. They're in good company."
WABCO will make primarily door and air conditioning systems for rail cars at the former Base Supply building, which is being refitted by the Plattsburgh Air Base Redevelopment Corporation (PARC). Governor Pataki committed $2.5 million in this year's budget for Plattsburgh's base redevelopment efforts
William E. Kassling, Chairman and CEO of WABCO said, "We are delighted to be adding to our presence in New York and flattered by the welcome we received from Governor Pataki and Empire State Development. The pro-business climate in New York is encouraging and a major factor in our decision to locate here. The Plattsburgh plant will be the Company's U.S. Center of Excellence for passenger transit air conditioning, as well as a manufacturing facility for other products such as door systems. We look forward to starting our operations here quickly."
WABCO is a $550 million company headquartered in Wilmerding, Pa. It is a leader in the production of brakes, door systems, electronic controls, monitors and air conditioning equipment for rail cars and buses.
Plattsburgh is perfectly suited for WABCO's expansion because it met their space needs and is close to their customers. WABCO produces brakes, couplers, and door systems for rail cars.
WABCO is also considering creating approximately 50 jobs at its Yonkers facility.
Recently, rail car manufacturers Bombardier in Plattsburgh and Kawasaki in Yonkers won contracts to build 1,000 subway cars for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
State Sen. Ronald B. Stafford said, "This new facility makes it clear that the re-birth of Plattsburgh is permanent and irreversible. We deeply appreciate the Governor's efforts on behalf of the North Country.."
Assemblyman Chris Ortloff said, "This is one of the major milestones on Plattsburgh's road to becoming the center of rail manufacturing in North America."
Charles A. Gargano, Chairman of Empire State Development Corporation (ESD), whose staff assisted WABCO in its site selection, said, "What a home run for Plattsburgh and its skilled workforce. Coupled with Governor Pataki's economic policies of cutting taxes, reducing regulations and lowering the cost of workers' compensation, WABCO will reap benefits for years to come from its investment in New York. WABCO's presence fits perfectly with New York's resurgence in providing high-tech manufacturers for the transportation sector."
Mark Barie, President of PARC, said, "This wonderful news would not have been possible without the help of Governor Pataki and Senator Stafford. WABCO's decision is a clear signal that the redevelopment of the Air Force Base is now well under way."
WABCO expects that the Plattsburgh plant will be open by the end of this year.
"It's always a pleasure when we can honor the life and work of a native New Yorker, particularly when that work means jobs for our citizens today," Governor Pataki said. "George Westinghouse, who has more than 300 patents to his name, was born in Central Bridge, Schoharie County. From there he went to Pittsburgh where among other inventions was the air brake for locomotives in 1869.
"The rest is history," the Governor said. "This life-saving
device put a new face on rail travel and our nation, ushering in the
era of high-speed rail which helped America grow and become great,
leaving a legacy that resonates to this day."