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A new Re:Build facility promises jobs and manufacturing tech for Pittsburgh

Here's why Allegheny Conference on Community Development's Matt Smith says the Shapiro-back facility will be a boon for the region.

Re:Build renderings. (Courtesy image)
A tech-forward manufacturing company is bringing hundreds of jobs to Pittsburgh in the coming years.

Live from North Shore’s Acrisure Stadium on Monday morning, Gov. Josh Shapiro announced his administration was investing $81 million to build a new manufacturing center for Boston-based Re:Build Manufacturing in the New Kensington Advanced Manufacturing Park.

The governor was joined by the Regional Industrial Development Corporation of Southwestern Pennsylvania, aka RIDC, as well as Re:Build and elected officials from Allegheny County. Shapiro noted that Re:Build’s position as a prominent, national-facing manufacturing company means its choice of Western Pennsylvania for a new location signaled a vote of confidence in the region’s ability to deliver.

Advanced manufacturing refers to the use of new technologies, such as robotics (a particular area of expertise for Pittsburgh) to traditional manufacturing practices.

Funding the incoming manufacturing center, Shapiro said, puts the region in a strong position to attract companies similar to Re:Build to the area.

“Making our Commonwealth a leader in innovation, job creation and economic development is a top priority for my administration, and we stand ready to continue making projects like this one possible,” he said. “The funding increases in my budget will help us attract more companies like Re:Build that want to come to Pennsylvania and help retain the growing businesses that are already here — and we will continue to drive innovation on a global scale.”

The site that the Re:Build new’s facility will occupy was acquired through an agreement the company entered into with the Redevelopment Authority of the City of New Kensington, the site’s owner, in partnership with the Westmoreland County Industrial Development. Once complete, the facility will consist of five existing buildings and take up an estimated 175,000 square feet.

Due to the current state of the site, renovations will cost an estimated $31 million, which organizations such as Richard King Mellon Foundation, state and county governments, and Westmoreland County will cover through grants and loans. Additionally, both RIDC and WCIDC will contribute equity investments.

Re:Build renderings. (Courtesy image)

“Re:Build’s decision to locate in New Kensington Advanced Manufacturing Park is a tremendous catalytic opportunity,” RIDC President Donald F. Smith, Jr. said in a release. “The presence of a high-quality, innovative force in the manufacturing sector, bringing hundreds of jobs to this community, could be a spark for investment in the region. And it builds on the positive moves the Cities of New Kensington and Arnold have made in recent years to revitalize the downtown area.”

Allegheny Conference on Community Development Chief Growth Officer Matt Smith was a part of conversations with the Shapiro administration while the details of the facility were being hammered out, he told Technical.ly, and agrees the new facility will be a welcome addition to the area.

Smith hopes the manufacturing facility will provide a sort of connection point for the Pittsburgh region. Being home to so many enabling technologies means the city would get to play a significant role in “reinventing” manufacturing for the future, he said. (Also calling Pittsburgh home: the Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing Institute, based at Hazelwood Green’s Mill 19.)

Currently, Re: Build employs 850 people in eight states. The company has committed to bringing 300 jobs to the area.

Matt Smith. (Photo courtesy of the Allegheny Conference)

“Another very exciting thing is that these are really high-paying jobs,” Smith said. “I think it’s really significant that these jobs are going to occur in New Kensington because it is an area that used to be a manufacturing powerhouse, and I think is going to be really well positioned to be an advanced manufacturing powerhouse with this investment.”

Re:Build did not specify what types of jobs it would fill at the New Kensington facility. The company’s website states that its work serves industries including aerospace and defense, cleantech, health, industrial equipment, lifestyle, and mobility.

Construction of the site is already underway. In the meantime, the chief growth officer is looking forward to the opportunities the facilities will bring to the region through the partnerships in place to make the project possible, in addition to the employment resulting from the finished project.

“This is going to mean jobs and opportunities, not just for this particular site, but across the advanced manufacturing cluster in the region,” Smith said. “I think that’s why the tech community and [the Allegheny Conference] are so excited about this particular investment.

Re:Build facility renderings. (Courtesy image)

Atiya Irvin-Mitchell is a 2022-2024 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of The Groundtruth Project that pairs young journalists with local newsrooms. This position is supported by the Heinz Endowments.
Companies: Allegheny Conference on Community Development / State of Pennsylvania

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