Kennametal chooses Greenfield
Will bring 70 new jobs
Kennametal exterior in Greenfield. Recorder/Paul Franz Purchase photo reprints »
GREENFIELD — Kennametal Inc. has decided to grow its operation in Greenfield after years of cutbacks, which means it will bring 70 new jobs to town over the next five years and plans to spend almost $5 million in upgrades over the next four years.
Mayor William Martin said that after a thorough evaluation of its two plants, one in Greenfield and the other in North Carolina, the company, which has carried on a long tradition of tool making in Greenfield, decided to consolidate by moving its Vermont plant to Greenfield.
Martin said not only will Kennametal add to its workforce, but plans to invest $3.4 million immediately on upgrades to the plant, equipment and machinery, as well as another $1.25 million over the next four years.
Town Council approved a property tax break for the company in May in hopes of enticing it to choose Greenfield. The break will ease some of the company’s tax burden over the next decade, beginning in 2016, but the mayor said it will do more than that by bringing employee spending to town.
Kennametal currently pays about $92,000 to the town in taxes each year.
Audrey Murphy, the town’s assessor, said with the tax break, Kennametal would continue to pay only on the property and equipment as currently assessed, not on any additions, until 2026.
The state offered Kennametal its own package of real estate tax concessions under its Economic Development Incentive Program. The state also offered an additional enhancement by partnering with the Hampshire Franklin Regional Employment Board and Greenfield Community College to offer the company necessary educational and workforce training opportunities.
“Kennametal is pleased to announce the expansion of its Greenfield facility to better serve our customers,” said company President Peter Dragich. “We look forward to the additional jobs this will create in the community.”
Martin said the 70 jobs the company plans to add will provide an average income of $75,000 a year per employee.
Robert Pyers, the town’s economic development director, said the 70 jobs Kennametal will add to the 63 it already provides will be a win-win for Greenfield.
“This is great news for Greenfield and Franklin County, as well as for manufacturing in western Massachusetts,” said Pyers.
“We’re proud and happy that Kennametal has chosen to remain in Greenfield, burnishing its long-standing history as a descendant of Greenfield Tap and Die in the skilled tool industry,” said Martin.
Kennametal, which bought the Greenfield Tap and Die plant on Sanderson Street in 1997, is headquartered in Pennsylvania. It owns the 180,000-square-foot building in Greenfield and a 70,000-square-foot building in North Carolina.
A global industrial technology leader, Kennametal serves customers in a variety of markets, including the transportation, aerospace and defense, earthworks and energy industries.
The company has been nationally recognized as a leader in product innovation and design, as well as its safety record.
Greenfield Tap and Die was founded in 1912 as a holding company producing thread cutting tools or taps and dies. It was founded by Frederick Payne and Frank O. Wells. The company took over the Russell Manufacturing Co., combining the two large businesses to create the world’s largest tap and die company in the world at the time
Since Kennametal bought the company in 1997, it has run one plant in Massachusetts.
Kennametal produces metal working tools for milling, turning, solid endmilling, drilling, threading, and more in industries such as aerospace, earthworks, energy, transportation, engineering and machine tools.
Greenfield Tap and Die, in its heyday in the mid-20th century, was a mainstay of Greenfield employment, employing hundreds of workers at two locations in town at one time.