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State to help fund Ephrata manufacturer's $2.4M expansion

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More than $600,000 in state funds will help Spartan Motors Inc. expand its truck-body manufacturing facility in Ephrata to handle incoming work from the U.S. Postal Service.

The $2.4 million expansion project is expected to create some 189 new full-time jobs over the next three years, according to a press release issued Thursday by Gov. Tom Wolf's office. 

Spartan is upgrading its current site to fulfill a $214 million contract with the U.S. Postal Service. The company is being asked to manufacture 2,000 delivery vehicles, the company said. 

"I applaud Spartan for expanding its Ephrata facility, which will provide a significant boost to the Lancaster-area economy and provide hundreds of manufacturing jobs for workers in the years to come. This is a big win for the region," Wolf said in a statement.

Spartan received funding from the Department of Community and Economic Development that includes a $300,000 Pennsylvania First grant and $378,000 in tax credits to be distributed upon creation of new jobs. Manufacturing tax credits also have been offered for the creation of jobs. 

"Programs like the Pennsylvania First program and the corresponding tax credits offered by Gov. Wolf and the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development made that expansion easier," Daryl Adams, president and CEO of Spartan Motors, said in a statement.

Spartan announced the postal service contract last October, calling it the single-largest revenue contract in its history.

The initial order of 2,000 truck bodies will be built and delivered over the span of two years beginning this month, with an option for more to be delivered over a third contract year, the company said.

Founded in 1975, Spartan is split into three business units: Spartan Fleet Vehicles & Services, Spartan Emergency Response and Spartan Specialty Vehicles. Together, they produce more than 22,000 units annually and employ over 2,300 people in seven states and three countries.

The Michigan-based company reported sales of about $173 million in the first quarter of 2018 and $707 million in 2017.

Representatives from Spartan were not immediately available for comment.

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Shelby White

Shelby White covers banking and finance, law and Lancaster County for the Central Penn Business Journal. For tips, email her at swhite@cpbj.com.

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EdwardThirlwall November 23, 2018 8:27 pm

If you're running a business that's in good demand for the local economy, I really don't think that it'll be difficult to get a government grant for it. I just wish that my storage company could qualify for that!

MarkSindone November 18, 2018 10:36 pm

The state ought to lend a helping hand when an organisation intends to expand its business to create job opportunities for the community. It is not merely about making sure that the organisation has got things under control, but it is to also ensure that the economy is gaining some too. This is how self storage inner west is contributing towards the local economy as well by making sure business prospects are stable for the long term.