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Job training money OK'd for JLG

July 03, 2002|by ANDREW SCHOTZ

martinsburg@herald-mail.com

McCONNELSBURG, Pa. - The state has awarded $267,138 to the Fulton Industrial Development Association to fund a job training program for JLG Industries.

JLG, which manufactures mobile aerial work platforms that lift workers to job sites, has moved its Gradall line of telescopic material handlers from Orrville, Ohio, to McConnellsburg.

The state job training money will help pay for the training employees in McConnellsburg have undergone to build and assemble telescopic material handlers, which lift materials to job sites.

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Assembly jobs require 160 hours of training and fabrication jobs require 80 hours of training, said Samuel D. Swope, the company's vice president of human resources.

Swope said robotic welders have been transferred from the Orrville plant and the telescopic materials handlers work is already under way in McConnellsburg.

Swope said the transfer of the material handler work created about 100 new jobs. Another 210 or so jobs were reinstated for JLG workers previously laid off at three Pennsylvania locations, he said.

Of those 310 jobs, about 150 were expected to be in McConnellsburg and 40 at a plant in Shippensburg, Pa.

The transfer of work from Ohio may also lead to as many as 70 additional jobs in the next three years, Swope said.

JLG had about 2,000 employees in McConnellsburg two years ago, but after a series of layoffs, the number was down to about 1,200 earlier this year.

About 190 employees lost their jobs when JLG's Gradall Industries plant in Orrville was shut down around March, but many were expected to be offered jobs in McConnellsburg.

The job training grant was announced jointly this week by state Sen. Robert C. Jubelirer, R-30th, and state Rep. Dick L. Hess, R-78th.

"JLG has shown great confidence in the work force in our area by moving this operation to Pennsylvania and these jobs to McConnellsburg," Jubelirer said in a news release. "The growth and future of JLG depends on the successful introduction of new products to the market. This money is critical to ensure employees are trained to meet those demands."

"State money directed at strengthening the local work force means more job security for families in the area and will make JLG stronger in the long run," Hess said in the release.

John Giannelli, a spokesman for Jubelirer, said the grant was awarded by the state's Department of Public Welfare and Department of Community and Economic Development.

Those two agencies - with input from the departments of Labor and Industry, Aging and Education - give out Critical Job Training grants after meeting every few weeks to discuss applications, Giannelli said.

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