LANCASTER – The city of Lancaster joined Morton Manufacturing Wednesday for a ceremony to mark the groundbreaking of Morton’s new corporate headquarters in Lancaster.
“I’m really excited,” said Chairman and CEO Yolanda Morton. “It has been made possible by the help of the city of Lancaster.”
Morton Manufacturing’s new facility will occupy a 10.06 parcel in the Lancaster Business Park, near East Avenue K-15 and Business Center Parkway. Construction is expected to be completed in nine months.
Upon opening, the aerospace fastener manufacturer is expected to bring 300 jobs to the Antelope Valley – 200 existing employees, as well as 100 new positions for local workers.
“What we have coming to this city is truly astonishing, and we can’t think of a better company to start it,” said Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris said. “You are taking us from our roots, which is aerospace, and you’re bringing us into small manufacturing, which is going to be the backbone of this community.”
“This year we will be announcing more than just one of these facilities, and it’s because of this,” Parris continued.
In 2011, Morton’s management team began seeking a location for a new facility when orders started to outstrip the production capacity of their current facility in Santa Clarita.
The Lancaster City Council on June 26 approved a development agreement to create a site for Morton Manufacturing’s new corporate headquarters. The city’s participation in the project included the subdivision of the formerly 21-acre site to accommodate Morton’s needs, as well as the installation of the necessary infrastructure to service the Morton site. The engineer’s estimate for the necessary improvements is $1,950,000, and funding for this has been included in the FY 2012-2013 Capital Improvement Program. Read more here.
When completed, Morton’s new 88,000-square-foot facility in Lancaster will represent a 96% increase in size over its existing facility, providing tremendous potential for future growth.
The firm’s client list includes Rolls Royce, Pratt & Whitney and General Electric. And the firm may soon be adding Boeing the list, said Chief Operating Officer Dale Ray.
“We’re looking at making high strength frame bolts [for Boeing],” Ray said. “They had been to our facility about three weeks ago; they came in, they looked at us and said ‘we want you.’”
Manufacturing jobs such as those offered by Morton Manufacturing are highly valued by local governments due to their power to create wealth within a community, said Lancaster City Manager Mark Bozigian.
“Every dollar generated by the sale of a manufactured product supports $1.40 in output from other sectors, which translates to tremendous potential to build our local economy,” Bozigian said.
“The arrival of Morton Manufacturing in Lancaster will not only bring 300 jobs to our community, it will also contribute to diversifying our local economy,” said Parris. “Firms such as Morton help to make the Antelope Valley less dependent on a given industry and thus less vulnerable to changes in the economy.”
Morton Manufacturing will begin recruiting employees for the new facility in mid-2013.