Plant to open in Brookfield

BROOKFIELD – A Texas-based manufacturing company tied to the oil and gas industry plans to hire about 150 workers and open a new plant in Brookfield by early next year.

Legacy Measurement Solutions Inc. of Addison, Texas, formerly known as J-W Measurement Co., on Friday announced plans to be operational by early next year in a 73,000-square-foot facility owned by Nick Strimbu trucking company near the intersection of state Routes 82 and 7. The company has laid out a three-year operations plan, leasing the space initially with options to buy.

Gary Crisp, the company’s vice president of operations for northeast, declined to release a specific investment amount, but described it as “significant in the property as well as the community.”

Legacy expects to ramp up hiring slowly to 150 full-time positions that will generate $6.8 million in annual payroll. Company officials said the location will allow the company to serve its intended markets, including both the Marcellus and Utica shale plays, while also working with the local communities to provide employment opportunities and contribute to the tax base.

Legacy officials will meet next week with officials from the Trumbull County One Stop to explore hiring and training opportunities, and the company expects to announce the proper procedures for applying for jobs in coming weeks.

“Having a community that had a need and had the employees available was important,” Crisp said. “We are probably going to have to train some folks, but we can do that,” Crisp said. “We are pleased to be sharing in this great opportunity with the Northeast and Ohio specifically which is a strong growth market for us.”

Legacy, which fabricates measurement equipment used for gas and liquid hydrocarbons, employs more than 450 people in 14 states. While Crisp said despite the early development of the Utica, his company remains positive about the future here.

He said acreage exists at the property that could allow for future expansion.

The company chose Brookfield after considering locations in Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

Youngstown / Warren Regional Chamber vice president for economic development, North America, Sarah Boyarko, said the competition was stiff, but Brookfield’s proximity to both Shale Plays, highway and rail access and nearby amenities made it the perfect location.

“It’s a great building. It’s a great location,” Boyarko said.

Crisp agreed the building’s crane capacity, highway access and available work force were vital, but what clinched it, he said, was the welcome mat put out by the state, the chamber and the community.

Boyarko said the chamber, in cooperation with the Trumbull County One Stop and the state’s economic development arm, JobsOhio, were able to offer assistance in hiring and training, along with help locating other business services through the Chamber’s membership.

Friday’s announcement came about 10 days after Ohio Gov. John Kasich announced the state of Ohio had approved the company for an Ohio Tax Credit that will reimburse the company for 55 percent of the state income tax paid over the course of seven years.

“That was extremely important, not only from a monetary standpoint, but from the state and the local community, it shows a willingness to partner with a company like ours,” Crisp said. “We are going to have a vested interest in the community. Those types of things mean a lot to companies like ours.”

Discussions involving Legacy and the chamber have been ongoing since April with the initial lead coming to Boyarko from a related company that previously located to the area with the Chamber’s assistance, she said.

“Word is trickling around that the chamber is the place to go along with the fact that we include state and local economic partners.”

Boyarko said talks with Legacy Measurement Solutions, then known as J-W Measurement Company, began well before she and other economic development officials and area business leaders were invited by Brookfield Trustees to a June public meeting to discuss ways to secure more economic development in the township.

“It was highly confidential at that time, per the company’s request,” Boyarko said.

Brookfield Trustee Gary Lees, who had called the June meeting to discuss ways to better market Brookfield for economic development, expressed his enthusiasm at Friday’s announcement.

“Having an additional company coming to our area, that’s a step that we are certainly supportive of,” Lees said. “That’s why we had the summit with the business people here in the summer.”

Lees also praised Boyarko for her dedication.

“She’s a big asset to Trumbull County, and a great salesperson,” he said.

Boyarko was equally excited.

“This is just one more example of the significant manufacturing growth we’re experiencing throughout the region. It’s an exciting development for Trumbull County,” Boyarko said.

Friday’s announcement likely isn’t the last. Boyarko said the Chamber remains in talks with at least two other non-oil and gas-related businesses considering moves to Trumbull County.

“We want to make sure our community becomes extremely diversified,” Boyarko said. “We have put our best foot forward. I would hope we would have a few announcements by the end of the year.”