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New York Air Brake announces Rowan County expansion

SALISBURY — New York Air Brake announced Tuesday afternoon that it will expand its Rowan County operations.

According to a Rowan Economic Development Commission news release, the expansion will create as many as 100 jobs over the next three years. The release said the company plans to invest about $9 million “to help address growing customer demand and business growth.”

New York Air Brake — which is based in Watertown, New York — produces freight and locomotive air brake control systems.

Barbara Gould, communications director for New York Air Brake sister company Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems, said the types of jobs and the ways in which the $9 million will be invested are “still under review.”

Scott Shelton, vice president of operations for Rowan EDC, said “no formal decision” has been made yet about where in Rowan County the expansion will be. But he said that decision is “coming.”

The company’s Premtec division is in Salisbury and manufactures specialty hose products and freight car components.

Last August, Air Brake announced it would add 28 new jobs in Salisbury. The average annual salary for those jobs was $33,528 with benefits.

When the recently announced expansion is complete, the new positions in Rowan County will provide a payroll impact of more than $2.6 million each year to the local economy, according to the EDC  news release.

“Offering a strong and steady workforce, Rowan County has been a successful part of our business for the past nine years,” said Michael Hawthorne, New York Air Brake president and CEO. “We are pleased with the support consistently shown by the local officials and the business community at large and look forward to that continued cooperation to support our customers and to expand our business growth.”

New York Air Brake acquired Premtec in 2009, according to Gould.

According to the news release, a “variety” of state and local agencies helped bring the expansion to Rowan County.

On Jan. 12, the state of North Carolina awarded New York Air Brake a performance-based grant of $185,000 from the One North Carolina Fund to help facilitate its expansion.

The Rowan County Board of Commissioners showed support for the project by awarding the company both a Rowan County Tax Investment Grant and an Economic Incentive Grant.

“NYAB’s Premtec division was started in Rowan County nearly 50 years ago,” county commissioners Chairman Greg Edds said. “We are very grateful that NYAB has chosen our community for their expansion.”

Edds also recognized Rowan County’s state representatives for the “critical role” they played in securing the project.

“I would like to thank Reps. Harry Warren and Carl Ford for their hard work,” said Edds. “They stepped in and worked with the Department of Commerce to help us bring this expansion to Rowan County.”

Additional funding for the project was provided by Duke Energy through its Carolinas Investment Fund.

“Duke Energy is always excited to work with our local partners, and we are looking forward to New York Air Brake growing and prospering in Rowan County,” said Tammy Whaley, Duke Energy economic development manager.

“We’d like to thank NYAB for their continued investment in Rowan County,” said Rowan EDC President and CEO Rod Crider. “It would not be possible without great cooperation from the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina, our state legislators, the Rowan County Board of Commissioners, Duke Energy, and our local management team of Scott Shelton (Rowan EDC) and Melanie Underwood (EDPNC).”

Contact reporter Jessica Coates at 704-797-4222.

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