Carel USA celebrates expansion

By on September 11, 2019

If you drove by Carel USA’s headquarters at 385 S. Oak St., Manheim, Sept. 5 and noticed an unusual number of cars parked around the facility, you may have wondered what was happening. Area legislators, municipal and business leaders joined employees and global executives of the company to celebrate a recently completed building expansion.

The 35,000-square-foot addition to the rear of the building will be the new warehouse for the facility that opened its doors in 2005. Kimberly Eldredge, Carel USA CFO, said the additional warehouse capacity will allow the company to free up space in the existing 40,000-square-foot building and expand its manufacturing capabilities. It will also eventually bring about 80 new jobs, more than doubling the existing workforce.

Carel USA sells, and manufactures, control technology and humidification equipment used in large-scale air conditioning and refrigeration systems. The company’s systems may be found in a number of settings including medical facilities, data centers, archival storage and printing facilities.

A company representative said its systems are in place at Penn State Hershey Medical Center’s Children’s Hospital and F & M College’s archives and special collections area. Although there are several other Carel USA facilities throughout the country, Manheim is the only manufacturing facility. It is also one of seven production facilities worldwide operated by Carel USA’s parent company, Carel Industries, which is headquartered in Italy.

Legislators and community leaders are proud of the business expansion.

“It’s not just what’s happening in our cities that’s helping to fuel the state’s economic growth; growth that’s happening in places like Manheim contribute, too,” said Aliyah Stanger, southeast regional director for the state Department of Community & Economic Development.

Carel of Manheim recently completed a building expansion. The 35,000-square-foot addition to the rear of the building will be the new warehouse for the facility that opened its doors in 2005

For state Rep. Mindy Fee, who grew up in and continues to be a resident of Manheim, Carel’s expansion means a commitment to the community.

“Our businesses become an integral part of the community. Carel not only employs people, but the company is a community partner; they’ve partnered with the school district in its Next Step program,” she said, adding that she and state Sen. Ryan Aument toured Carel’s facility about three years ago.

Manheim Central School District superintendent Peter Aiken said the district is always seeking to expand community partnerships. He said perhaps, the expansion of the warehouse and manufacturing capability may mean additional opportunities for the school district and Carel to partner.

“This is such a big deal for a small community (like Manheim). Carel was the first business to take advantage of the Keystone Opportunity Zone, which encouraged small businesses and brought them here (to Manheim). The KOZ reflects a true sense of partnership among state and local taxing bodies, school districts, economic development agencies and community-based organizations,” said Manheim Chamber president Aaron Schwartz.

The KOZ included the tract that became the Carel property as well as the property that had formerly housed Raymark. Carol Phillips, Manheim Borough council president, said she was on the Manheim Central School District school board when the board agreed to establish the KOZ, which encourages economic development by providing tax breaks.

“It’s been good for the community–it brought economic growth and more jobs,” she said.

The KOZ designation for the area has expired, but Martino Manfrin, Carel USA CEO, said it was one of the factors that attracted the manufacturer to the site. He said other factors included a pool of employees with a good work ethic.

“Our employees are a valuable asset,” he said, “When Carel first began operating in the US in 2000, we had no more than 20 employees. There have been a lot of changes and expansion since then.”

He said the expansion of the Manheim facility will allow Carel USA to grow by improving the efficiency of the manufacturing process, providing better support to customers and by expanding into new markets globally. It’s part of an overall growth strategy for Carel.

Rochelle Shenk is a correspondent for the Lititz Record Express. She welcomes your comments and questions at RAASHENK@aol.com. 

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