Lycoming Engines receives funding for upgrades; job openings added at city plant

KAREN VIBERT-KENNEDY/Sun-Gazette Lycoming Engines at 652 Oliver Street in Williamsport will be expanding.

The Lycoming County Industrial Development Authority approved $2 million in state dollars for facility improvements at Lycoming Engines at its meeting Wednesday.

The funding from the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program will help support growth at the city-based company, including the addition of some 30 to 35 jobs, according to officials.

The government grant program is administered by the state Office of the Budget for the acquisition and construction of regional economic, cultural, civic, recreational and historical improvement projects.

“What the RACP money is for is to demolish the antiqued Building No. 2 and put a new roof on sections of another building, which will enable Lycoming Engines to be competitive in the global economy,” said Jason Fitzgerald, president of Penn Strategies, the lobbying firm working on behalf of the company.

The main facility where new equipment is being installed experiences flooding and requires upgrades.

In addition to new roof

ing, the building is in need of a new security entrance.

Demolition costs of the other structure will include hazmat abatement and reconstruction.

“They need additional capabilities for manufacturing,” Fitzgerald said. “They need more usable space.”

Williamsport/Lycoming Chamber of Commerce Vice President Jason Fink said the jobs being added at the local plant will support work formerly done overseas.

“These are family sustaining jobs,” he said.

Lycoming Engines presently employs about 450 people.

“It’s great news,” company spokeswoman Katie Bell said. “We are excited about it.”

Bell noted that some of the construction and hirings have been underway.

Fitzgerald said the upgrades and plant expansion are needed for the company to remain competitive.

“They need space for equipment and people,” he said.

Lycoming Engines manufactures air-cooled four-, six- and eight-cylinder engines, including the only Federal Aviation Administration-certified aerobatic and helicopter piston engines.

The company is an operating division of Avco Corp., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Textron Inc.

The vote by the county authority board to approve the funding was 5-0.

Voting yes were Ron Frick, Jeff Bower, Dan Ertel, Joseph Stewart and Joe Strouse.