ELMIRA HEIGHTS, N.Y. — Air-Flo Manufacturing Co., a truck-industry equipment manufacturer located in Elmira Heights, will expand its operations in Chemung County.
The firm will purchase the 310,000-square-foot former Belden Connectivity facility on Main Street North in nearby Horseheads, the office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a news release issued Monday. It’ll use the additional space to consolidate its truck body and accessory-manufacturing operations and install new production lines.
As a result, the company will create 40 new jobs and retain 200 full-time positions “thanks to the support from the state,” Cuomo’s office said.
The total project cost is $3 million. Air-Flo expects to complete the expansion project this fall.
Empire State Development (ESD) is supporting Air-Flo’s growth with up to $900,000 in incentives. Up to $475,000 of that will come through a Southern Tier Regional Council economic-development grant. ESD will also provide up to $425,000 through the Excelsior Tax Credit program, which is tied to job-creation commitments.
Chemung County is also offering incentives for the expansion plan, Cuomo’s office said.
“The growth and success of our company is directly related to the high quality of the truck equipment that is built by our great hardworking employees that have made this area their home,” Chuck Musso, president of Air-Flo Manufacturing, said in Cuomo’s news release.
Three brothers who were “looking for a better way to harvest onions” founded Air-Flo Manufacturing in the 1940s, according to the firm’s website.
To automate the old style of manually harvesting onions, the company’s founders developed and patented a mechanical harvester. The product design used the principle of “air flow” to operate the harvester.
Air-Flo moved into the manufacturing of truck equipment with the introduction of ice-control spreaders during the 1960s. By the 1980s, it added dump-truck bodies and the “now very popular” Flo N’ Dump multi-purpose dump body to their growing line of truck equipment.
Air-Flo in 2000 expanded its manufacturing facilities, opening a new plant in Elmira, which is dedicated to the manufacturing of the Pro-Class and Pro-Max dump bodies and the Quick-Silver snow plow.
The firm has also recently secured “several” state contracts for building class 8 dump-truck packages for the New York State Department of Transportation. As a result, the company is planning to add further manufacturing capacity in the future, Cuomo’s office said.
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