Ohio Gov. John Kasich traveled to Kent Tuesday morning to celebrate the opening of MAC Liquid Tank Trailer and the creation of 250 new jobs thanks largely to $5.7 million in state development dollars.
MAC LTT is a division of MAC Trailer, which already has plants in Salem and Alliance. The is expected to bring 250 total new jobs to the city within the next 18 to 24 months.
Kasich said the state’s support of MAC’s Kent move was one of 191 projects the Ohio Department of Development has been directly involved in in the past eight to nine months.
“We’ve created 14,526 new jobs, and we have saved 28,892 jobs, for a total of 43,418 jobs saved or jobs created in the state of Ohio in the period of the last eight or nine months,” Kasich said. “And when you add up all the payroll that was either saved or is going to be created, $2.6 billion in payroll, which means we have money we can spend at the beauty salon or the barbershop … that’s what this is really all about.”
Jim Maiorana, MAC's executive vice president, said the company is a leading producer of specialty semi trailers in North America now with the addition of the Kent location to its other two plants, which make dump trailers and other truck trailers.
“With the addition of MAC LTT here in Kent, MAC trailer now has become the most diverse trailer manufacturer in North America," he said. "MAC employees 800 people, and all three plants are currently hiring today.”
He said the Kent facility will build three types of liquid trailers: a vacuum water tank trailer; a vacuum bob-tail trailer; and a frack-tank trailer.
“All three types of these trailers are in high demand right now for the boom that’s taking place across the country in several states for the oil and gas exploration,” Maiorana said.
The rolled off of MAC's Kent production line early last month. The western-most building on the MAC property — where Tuesday's ceremony was held — will start producing trailers in March.
"I got a sense that If things go the right way over the course of the next couple of years, with the possible development of Utica shale and the natural gas that we could capture, we may be building a heck of a lot more trucks than you (could) even think about," Kasich said. "And that’s what we’re hoping for.”
Mike Conny, president of MAC Trailer, credited the state financial support with helping them land the Kent facility — a former trailer manufacturing site — to continue the company's expansion and help position it in the trailer market.
"The banks today are much more difficult than they were since 2009," Conny said. "The state of Ohio has absolutely put us in the driver's seat in this building. The state has definitely helped us create jobs here. And we’re going to do our part, and we’ll have 250 jobs here before you know it."