Allentown
52° F
Scattered Clouds
Scattered Clouds

East Penn Manufacturing to expand operations, add 400 jobs in Berks County

By Ryan Hughes, Reporter, RHughes@wfmz.com
69 News, follow: @69news, news@wfmz.com
Published On: May 02 2013 10:14:34 AM CDT
Updated On: May 02 2013 05:08:03 PM CDT

Berks County's largest employer is about to get bigger.

HARRISBURG, Pa. -

East Penn Manufacturing will expand its operations to support new growth in the manufacturing industry, adding 400 jobs in Berks County, Pa. Gov. Tom Corbett announced Thursday.

"My administration is committed to enacting policies that encourage employers like East Penn Manufacturing to continue growing and creating jobs in Pennsylvania," Corbett said. "As a result of our commitment, East Penn Manufacturing will add 400 jobs to the more than 6,000 they already employ in the commonwealth."  

East Penn Manufacturing is known as the world's largest and most modern independent battery manufacturer.

"If our plans are as we expect them to be, we'll be expanding our markets, expanding our sales right here in Berks County and employing some more employees here," said Dan Langdon, president of East Penn.

The Deka battery plant will construct a new 458,000 square-foot manufacturing facility. The building alone is expected to cost about $50 million.

"The building is going to have a number of nice features and benefits for the company going forward," said Langdon.

The company received a $500,000 Pennsylvania First Program grant, $800,000 in job creation tax credits, $180,000 in guaranteed free training, and $5,000,000 in a 10-year, low-interest loan at 1.5 percent from the Machinery and Equipment Loan Fund, officials said.

The Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority (PIDA) will provide a $6 million, 15-year low-interest loan at 1.5 percent to the Greater Berks Development Fund (GBDF) on behalf of East Penn.

Langdon said the state's assistance will help them update and modernize.

"So this will be the next step strategically for the current markets we have and emerging markets," said Langdon.

The Greater Berks Development Fund has worked with East Penn on a number of projects in the past, and they said they're proud to be a part of this one.

"It's particularly gratifying to us to help an existing company with so many great employees expand that base," said Edward Swoyer, president of the Greater Berks Development Fund.

According to Langdon, East Penn is working to acquire all the necessary permits. Construction is expected to start in the Fall and take about two to two-and-a-half years.