LANCASTER – Aerospace fastener manufacturer Morton Manufacturing has selected Lancaster for its corporate headquarters, a move that is predicted to bring 300 jobs to the area.
“We hope that this change in location not only means growth for our company but growth for what we can call now our city,” said Morton Manufacturing CEO Yolanda Morton, at a press conference Thursday to announce the move.
“This is the beginning of something that is going to be explosive in the next four years,” said Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris.
Launched in 1967, Morton Manufacturing is the leading supplier of nickel-alloy bolts for gas-turbine aircraft engines. The firm, whose client list includes Rolls Royce, Pratt Whitney and General Electric, began seeking a new location last year when orders started to outstrip the production capacity of their current facility in Santa Clarita.
“We’re in a 45,000-square-foot building now with no room to move,” said Chief Operating Officer Dale Ray. “It will be a great pleasure to move out here.”
Approximately 40 percent of Morton’s existing workforce already lives in the Antelope Valley, making Lancaster an ideal site. The company’s 200 employees will relocate to the new Lancaster facility, and then Morton Manufacturing will add 100 new positions for local workers after the move.
“These new jobs will make great strides in stimulating our local economy,” said City Manager Mark Bozigian in a news release. “Because manufacturing jobs induce service jobs at an estimated 3 to 1 ratio, Morton Manufacturing’s move will not only bring 300 manufacturing jobs to Lancaster, but also support a significant number of additional jobs in the service sector. This will result in a total local economic impact of up to 1,200 jobs.”
Morton Manufacturing will build an 80,000-square-foot facility on a 10.06-acre parcel in the Lancaster Business Park near East Avenue K-15 and Business Center Parkway. The site is currently part of a 21-acre parcel, which will be subdivided by the city to create the new Morton site, as well as four additional sites.
The city will install the necessary infrastructure for the Morton site, as well as four additional parcels that will remain once the existing 21-acre site has been subdivided to accommodate Morton’s needs.
“What we’re proud of is the fact that we’re going to get four additional lots that will be available to other businesses that come to the area,” said Lancaster Economic Development Director Vern Lawson.
The relocation agreement negotiated with Morton Manufacturing must be approved by the City Council. The council will consider the agreement at its regular meeting on Tuesday, June 26.
“What we’re attempting to do is to build a city that’s going to make our children incredibly proud of us because we would have accomplished something no else has done,” said Parris. “We’re starting to see it with the solar, we’re starting to see it with Lancaster Boulevard, we’re starting to see it with this. We are in the process of creating something that is going to be truly magnificent.”
Updated 6/26/12: The City Council on June 26 unanimously (with Mayor R. Rex Parris absent) approved a development agreement to create a site for Morton Manufacturing’s new corporate headquarters. The City’s participation in the Agreement is the installation of the infrastructure to service the Morton site and to fully improve four additional lots to be sold for job creation. The engineer’s estimate for the necessary improvements is $1,950,000. Funding for this has been included in the proposed FY 2012-2013 Capital Improvement Program.