Governor Josh Shapiro and Re:Build Manufacturing Announce $81 Million Investment to Create Cutting-Edge Manufacturing Center, 300 Jobs in Westmoreland County
May 01, 2023
Collaboration between the Commonwealth, Re:Build Manufacturing, and RIDC is the latest economic development project under the Shapiro Administration that will expand innovation-focused manufacturing in Western Pennsylvania.
Pittsburgh, PA – Today, Governor Josh Shapiro joined leadership from Re:Build Manufacturing (Re:Build), the Regional Industrial Development Corporation (RIDC), and Pennsylvania leaders to announce an $81 million investment to create a major, innovation-focused manufacturing operation in the New Kensington Advanced Manufacturing Park that will create 300 high-quality jobs in Westmoreland County.
A leader in bringing high-tech manufacturing jobs back to the U.S., Re:Build’s operations at the new regional headquarters in New Kensington will focus on state-of-the-art fabrication, manufacturing, and integration and assembly projects in high-growth, innovation-driven industries including: energy, life sciences, robotics, electric mobility, satellite communications, and aerospace. The project will create Re:Build’s first ground-up manufacturing facility in the U.S. here in Pennsylvania.
“I’m proud that Re:Build chose Western Pennsylvania for this project – sending a strong signal to other companies that Pennsylvania is open for business and we want you here,” said Governor Shapiro. “Making our Commonwealth a leader in innovation, job creation, and economic development is a top priority for my Administration, and we stand ready to continue making projects like this one possible. The funding increases in my budget will help us attract more companies like Re:Build that want to come to Pennsylvania and help retain the growing businesses that are already here – and we will continue to drive innovation on a global scale.”
As part of the project, RIDC and the Westmoreland County Industrial Development Corporation (WCIDC) have entered into a purchase agreement with the park’s current owner, the Redevelopment Authority of the City of New Kensington, to acquire and redevelop the entire site. Beyond creating high-tech manufacturing jobs, Re:Build’s mission is to also provide the training needed to do this skilled work. The New Kensington site will work with Westmoreland County Community College and other local vocational training institutions to help students develop the skills required to qualify for employment at the facility.
“From large global manufacturers with R&D facilities to small mom and pop shops, Westmoreland County is a competitive place to grow your business,” said Senate President Pro Tempore Kim Ward. “More importantly, we are willing to work with you as Westmoreland’s transportation network, our ready skilled workforce, and cooperative working relationship between state and local officials makes Westmoreland County a great location for businesses to locate and expand.”
“This project is a perfect example of public and private partnership, as well as political partnership between elected officials,” said Senate Majority Leader Joe Pittman. “The investment will be a huge anchor of redevelopment in the cities of New Kensington, Arnold and the entire Kiski Valley. A focus on innovative and collaborative initiatives to support economic development benefits not only our region, but the entire commonwealth.”
“Growing up in the heartland, I experienced firsthand the impacts of the rise and fall of American manufacturing on the well-being of our country,” said Jeff Wilke, Chairman and Co-Founder of Re:Build Manufacturing. “We created Re:Build to help our nation secure a more resilient future by investing in high tech manufacturing. The new facility in New Kensington is a major milestone in this journey, helping to revitalize an area once central to American industry and bringing back much needed, sustainable jobs. A big thank you to Governor Shapiro and community leaders like Thomas Tull for helping make this project a reality.”
“Bringing manufacturing back to the U.S. is critical to our economy, and a matter of national security,” said Thomas Tull, board member and lead investor in Re:Build Manufacturing. “America reclaiming the manufacturing mantle will take time and requires Re:Build’s holistic mission of combining precision manufacturing with cutting-edge technology. While this is no easy feat, the right team – led by Jeff and Miles – is in place to work on this important initiative, and Pittsburgh is the perfect city to help further Re:Build’s mission.”
“Re:Build is committed to reindustrializing America and doing so in communities that have been abandoned by companies chasing cheap labor around the world, including in China,” said Miles Arnone, CEO of Re:Build Manufacturing. “We understand that for the U.S. to thrive, more Americans need to work in the high-paying, long-term jobs that manufacturing can provide. We also know that we can’t reverse decades of deindustrialization by ourselves; it requires a true private-public partnership. That’s why we are so happy to be establishing this operation in New Kensington, where we have been impressed by the commitment of local and state government, educational institutions, RIDC, and local philanthropies, including the Richard King Mellon Foundation, to invest alongside us to build a better future for the local community and our country.”
The company’s facility will be comprised of portions of five existing buildings and total 175,000 square feet once complete. Currently in serious disrepair, the facility will require $31 million in renovations, which will be funded by grants or loans from the Commonwealth, Westmoreland County, and the Richard King Mellon Foundation, as well as equity investments from the RIDC and WCIDC.
“Re:Build’s decision to locate in the New Kensington Advanced Manufacturing Park is a tremendous catalytic opportunity,” said Donald F. Smith, Jr., RIDC’s President. “The presence of this high-quality, innovative force in the manufacturing sector, bringing hundreds of jobs to this community, will be a spark for investment in the entire region. And it builds on the positive moves the cities of New Kensington and Arnold have made in recent years to revitalize their downtowns. The project wouldn’t be possible without the support of many community leaders and partners, and especially Governor Shapiro and Secretary Siger, who are setting a new tone for economic development in Harrisburg.”
Re:Build and RIDC received a funding proposal from the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) for a $1.5 million Pennsylvania First grant, a $7 million grant through the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program, and are encouraged to apply for loans through the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority — all of which is focused on rejuvenating the New Kensington Advanced Manufacturing Park. As part of the project, Re:Build will be investing $50 million in the project and creating approximately 300 new, full-time jobs within the next three years. More than 100 construction jobs will also be created to help renovate the new facility.
“Today’s announcement is possible thanks to the shared vision of public, private and non-profit organizations working together with a shared vision for what this underutilized, legacy property can become,” said Acting Secretary of DCED Rick Siger. “To close this deal, the Shapiro Administration was able to tap into one of the very best incentives tools we have – the Pennsylvania First Program. Governor Shapiro wants to make Pennsylvania a global leader in economic development, which is why he proposed a $12 million funding increase for the program to bring even more exciting projects like this one to the Commonwealth.”
“We are thrilled to welcome Re:Build to the Pittsburgh region,” said Matt Smith, Chief Growth Officer of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development. “Re:Build is bringing to Westmoreland County and our entire region the vision and capacity that can accomplish something truly transformational for manufacturing and a new generation of manufacturers – not only here, but across the country. Manufacturing has deep roots in southwestern Pennsylvania. The products we made here were pivotal to the building of the modern world. This investment honors that legacy but puts a focus on building manufacturing’s future, which is happening now in the Pittsburgh region. We look forward to the opportunities Re: Build will spark – leveraging innovative technologies and new techniques – for the industry and the significant and exciting employment it will create for people here.”
Governor Shapiro’s budget proposal increases funding to attract and retain businesses in Pennsylvania, including:
- A 50 percent increase in the Manufacturing PA Innovation Program, which connects Pennsylvania’s universities with businesses to spur innovation and job creation here in the Commonwealth.
- A 25 percent increase in the PA Smart Program so students who are looking to continue on to higher education in a computer science or STEM program can do that.
- A $12 million increase for the Pennsylvania First Program to fund more expansion projects and bring future business investments and high paying jobs to the Commonwealth.
The project was coordinated by the Governor’s Action Team (GAT), 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.
Visit Governor Shapiro’s budget website to learn more about his commonsense solutions to the most pressing issues Pennsylvanians face.