Westinghouse's move to Cranberry is complete
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"We're almost home," Westinghouse Electric Co. spokesman Vaughn Gilbert said this month.
He was anticipating the final relocation of some 200 employees from the company's old headquarters in Monroeville to the new corporate complex in Cranberry.
The shift, which was finished as of Monday, represents the completion of an effort that began June 8, 2009, when the first 50 Westinghouse workers from Monroeville unpacked their cardboard moving boxes and set up shop in Butler County.
That day was the first of many successive move-ins, as employees were transferred in groups of 250 for subsequent weeks. The slow but steady shift continued until now.
"Getting everybody in the same place has long been the goal," Mr. Gilbert said. "Everybody" does not represent every Westinghouse worker, however.
Russ Bussard, director of real estate and facilities for Westinghouse, said the company moved headquarters employees between June 2009 through November 2010, then transferred employees from the Churchill facility to the Monroeville facility to accommodate a downsizing at the Churchill operations.
Mr. Bussard said the company recently has signed a 12-year lease for one building at the Churchill location, which will remain in operation. In fact, the company is making about $10 million worth of improvements to the building, Mr. Bussard said.
By the end of June, the consolidation of the remaining Monroeville employees will boost the number of Westinghouse employees and contractors at Cranberry to 4,200. More than 3,500 are Westinghouse workers.
Total Western Pennsylvania employment stands at about 6,000 -- 40 percent of the global total of 14,000 employees, according to Mr. Bussard. Cranberry finance director Vanessa Gleason said the economic impact on Cranberry has been significant in many ways, some more quantifiable than others.
Employees at Westinghouse pay $52 annually in the local services tax to Cranberry. As the single biggest employer with 4,200 workers, that adds up to more than $218,000 -- almost two-thirds the value of a mill of property tax, which brings in about $360,000 annually in revenue toward the township's general fund budget of $60 million.
Ms. Gleason said the less easily counted impacts range from employees who buy lunch and shop in the township; who have bought homes in Cranberry and are paying property and earned income taxes; and other businesses that have set up shop within township borders to be proximate to the corporate powerhouse. The $218 million-plus campus -- which features an arcing complex of three buildings overlooking Route 228 plus a fourth building that opened in 2010, all on the south side of the highway in the Cranberry Woods office park -- currently enjoys a 15-year property tax abatement on the land. When that expires, thousands of dollars in property tax revenue will flood municipal coffers.
"I don't think there's any doubt that Westinghouse making their home here has been a good thing for this region," Ms. Gleason said. Westinghouse had outgrown its Monroeville location and had been contemplating moving out of state.
First Published June 14, 2012 5:01 am