Trane/Ingersoll Rand adds 55 new jobs

Published on Monday, 12 May 2014 22:24 - Written by KELLY GOOCH

Air-conditioning and heating manufacturer Trane/Ingersoll Rand has brought 55 new full-time regular jobs to Tyler.

The Tyler City Council will consider a recommendation for an incentive payable to Trane/Ingersoll Rand for those created jobs during its Wednesday meeting, according to a news release from the city. Ten of the jobs are due to relocating a business line from Mexico, 14 are for powder coating work and 31 are for a new assembly line.

“We had an opportunity to bring a small product line that had been manufactured in Monterey, Mexico, back to Tyler,” Trane/Ingersoll Rand Plant Manager Ted Crabtree said in a prepared statement.  “This was an excellent opportunity for us to stabilize the seasonality of our workforce by more fully loading our build lines.”

“I think it’s a great day when we get a chance to retain jobs and more importantly grow jobs here in Tyler …” he said Monday by phone.

Crabtree said the product from Mexico was brought in earlier this year and put with the existing group of products on one line. 

Trane/Ingersoll Rand has also added a new production line, called Line B, which started up in February and has shortened production times and led to an overall more effective way to build a product, he said. An estimated $2.3 million in capital investment was spent for Line B.

Additionally, the manufacturer has gone back to powder painting top panels — a move that also will bring more stability in workforce numbers, according to a news release.

Tom Mullins, president and chief executive officer of the Tyler Economic Development Council, said Trane/Ingersoll Rand leaders have discussed positive economic trends in recent months, so he knew good things were happening.

He said the manufacturer’s plans are encouraging because it indicates that production and jobs are up there.

More than 1,500 hourly employees work at the Tyler plant, plus 350 other employees, including engineering, lab technicians, marketing, finance and Information Technology, as well as other business unit support functions.

And that’s great, Mullins said, because Trane/Ingersoll Rand is Tyler’s largest manufacturing employer and has been in Tyler for a long time.

This year, the site should be on track to produce 730,000 to 740,000 outdoor units, Crabtree said.

Another positive thing is that production is coming back to Tyler from Mexico, Mullins said.

For years, he said, companies have been moving to Mexico due to cheaper production costs, so what Trane/Ingersoll Rand is doing gives him a very positive reaction.

Mullins said Trane/Ingersoll Rand brings in seasonal employees each year, and then seasonal layoffs occur.

But, he said, these new jobs are full-time regular jobs that won’t be subjected to seasonal fluctuation.

“They’re good-paying jobs,” he said, adding that the jobs come with good hourly rates, plus benefits.

According to a news release, Tyler’s retention incentive won’t go over $192,500, and will be credited to the Trane/Ingersoll Rand utility bill via four annual equal installments of $48,125, starting this calendar year. 

However, the incentive must meet certain conditions.

For instance, Trane/Ingersoll Rand must attain the specified job retention requirements, such as retention of 55 regular full-time jobs valued at $61,920 per job, including benefits, according to a news release, and the incentive will only be credited if Trane/Ingersoll Rand retains the jobs throughout the four-year agreement without a net reduction in total jobs. 

“Trane has been a primary employer in Tyler for 58 years employing more than 1,800 employees and has been a tremendous corporate citizen,” Mayor Barbara Bass said in a statement. “We are pleased that we are able to use our incentive program to help retain valuable jobs here in Tyler.”

Crabtree said, “This is shaping up to be a good year for us in terms of the overall market, and then for the Tyler facility as well.”