American LaFrance LLC Announces Consolidation of Manufacturing Operations; Create 216 New Jobs; Invest $1.69M
20 May, 2009
American LaFrance LLC announced its intention to consolidate all corporate manufacturing into its Berkeley County operations. The South Carolina Department of Commerce, Berkeley County and the Charleston Regional Development Alliance worked with American LaFrance LLC to sustain and grow current operations at its facility near Summerville. The company projects to invest $1.69 million and create 216 new jobs within three to five years to accommodate future growth.
American LaFrance will move all its production operations into the Berkeley County headquarters and manufacturing facility. The consolidation is expected to increase productivity, reduce costs as well as improve customer service and delivery. In an effort to continue building its product line, the company has already started consolidating into the facility near Summerville. The consolidation will allow for fire truck manufacturing to better fit with an automotive assembly line.
The decision to move operations to Berkeley County was driven largely by workforce needs, market access and growth potential from the facility near Summerville.
“In today’s highly competitive global economy, our state’s ability to attract new jobs and grow our existing businesses is critical. American LaFrance’s announcement that it will consolidate production operations to its Berkeley County facility is an example of our success in that regard and is also a reminder of the importance of focusing our efforts on improving the business climate here with fundamental reforms that encourage economic growth. We remain committed to continuing these efforts to create opportunity for more South Carolinians,” said Gov. Mark Sanford.
Secretary Joe Taylor added, “American LaFrance will be expanding their current capabilities at their Berkeley County facility to produce vocational, armored and fire vehicles. The company’s decision to consolidate its operations in Berkeley County is an indication that our focus on establishing a skilled workforce and enhancing our business-friendly climate are working to attract new jobs and helping companies to be more competitive during these challenging economic times.”
Jim Bryan, Chairman of the Charleston Regional Development Alliance, welcomed the company’s decision. “That American LaFrance chose to consolidate here rather than in another of their locations is significant news for our region. By streamlining their operations, they expect to be in a much stronger position going forward. This should produce solid job growth for the company as the economy gains traction.”
“We’re proud to be home to one of America’s original fire vehicle manufacturers,” said Dan Davis, Berkeley County Supervisor. “With this announcement, American LaFrance will be even more strongly rooted in our community. We value the jobs they are providing local resident, and look forward to helping them grow and prosper in the future.”
American LaFrance LLC is a leading manufacturer of fire, rescue and EMS vehicles. Founded in 1832, the company is one of the oldest fire apparatus manufacturers in the United States. For more information, visit www.AmericanLaFrance.com.