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Pangborn moving headquarters from Hagerstown to Ga.

Company had been based here since 1912

Company had been based here since 1912

November 27, 2007|By JOSHUA BOWMAN

HAGERSTOWN - Pangborn Corp. will relocate its corporate headquarters from Hagerstown to Fairburn, Ga., next year, a company official said Monday.

The move will begin in February 2008 and continue through mid-summer 2008, according to Pangborn Vice President of Quality Mike Giroux.

The company employs about 50 people at its Hagerstown office at 580 Pangborn Blvd. The employees are engineers and administration workers, Giroux said.

Giroux said all employees were offered relocation packages. He would not say how many accepted the relocation offers.

Pangborn will retain a small office of about 10 veteran engineers in Hagerstown, Giroux said. Those engineers will continue working in Hagerstown until they quit or retire, at which point Pangborn will close its Hagerstown office.

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Access and cost were two factors in the decision to relocate, Giroux said.

Fairburn, which is about 10 miles from the Atlanta-Hartsfield Airport, is easier for an expanding, international company to draw customers to than Hagerstown, Giroux said.

He also said rent prices for facilities in Fairburn are "about half" of what the company would pay in Hagerstown.

Giroux said employees were notified Oct. 4 of the decision to relocate.

"This was a terribly difficult decision to make," said Giroux, who added that because the company has downsized in the past it was left with "the cream of the cream" in Hagerstown.

"This is a tight group. Everybody's like family here," Giroux said.

Pangborn, which makes products for the metal and metalworking industries, laid off 103 local workers in 2000 when it closed its Hagerstown manufacturing operation.

Pangborn was founded in New York City in 1904 and moved to Hagerstown in 1912.

A 2000 Herald-Mail feature about company founder Thomas W. Pangborn reported that Pangborn Corp.'s employment peaked in the 1960s at more than 1,000 people.

The number of employees was listed at 350 in the 1998 Hagerstown-Washington County Economic Development Commission Business & Industry Directory.

Pangborn was acquired by a Connecticut-based holding company in June 2006.

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