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Timken Plans Million Investment

The Timken Company announced Tuesday plans to invest more than $16 million in its Lincolnton plant. The announcement came shortly after Timken’s board of directors elected James W. Griffith the company’s chief executive officer. He continues to serve as president and as director. W.R. Timken, Jr. will stay as chairman of the board of directors and one of the company’s executive officers. Griffith, Timken and Seth Haney, general manager of the Lincolnton plant, were present at Tuesday’s briefing. The $16 million investment will expand the manufacturing technology of the bearing plant. Within the next two years, the plant’s packaged-bearing capacity will double, and a new forming process to support rail and industrial bearing markets will be added. “Here in Lincolnton, we’re seeing the future of the Timken Company,” Griffith said. Griffith called the Lincolnton plant a “world center for manufacturing.” Lincolnton’s success rate and commitment to the community were part of what led Timken to award the projects. “It’s based on success,” Griffith said. “We’ve taken some of the best people out of the Lincolnton community and put them in our plant.” The investment includes the installation of two new hub-bearing unit manufacturing lines for the production of bearing and hub assemblies for light and medium-duty truck wheel ends. Timken will also install a new rotary-forming process for the forming of raw material for rail bearing and other industrial applications. Installation will be completed later this year. The new projects will create 44 jobs, paying around $18 an hour. Haney said most of these jobs will be filled by people already in the plant. If these jobs were not created, it is possible that Timken might have been forced to make lay-offs. “This enables people in the Lincolnton plant to defend their jobs and be compensated at a higher level,” Timken said. Company officials commended Lincolnton plant employees. “The people here drive production,” Griffith said. Timken said county incentive grants did influence the company’s decision to chose Lincolnton. Haney said the incentives were one of five bullet points on the summary page of reasons to chose Lincolnton. It was the great support from the county that prompted Timken to chose Lincolnton for the initial facility, Timken said. “It is an important part,” Timken said. “It is the way you attract capital improvement.” County commissioners adopted resolutions in June approving more than $250,000 in incentives. The incentives are spread out over five years. County officials were pleased with the Timken Company’s decision. Barry Matherly, executive director of the Lincoln Economic Development Association, said he was glad the incentives played a role in the decision. “It’s even better to hear that the workforce is a better part (of the decision).” Matherly said. Board Chairman Jerry Cochrane said he is excited about the new industry. “It’s wonderful,” Cochrane said. “To have technology like this in Lincoln County – and the attitude they have about Lincoln County – it’s exciting.” The Timken Company is a leading international manufacturer of bearings, alloy and specialty steels and components and related products and services. The company has operations in 24 countries and employs more than 18,000 worldwide.