BRIAN C. RITTMEYER| Thursday, March 25, 2021 12:26 p.m.
An Alabama-based air filter manufacturer has chosen Arnold as the location for its first facility in the northeastern United States, and the operation is expected to employ more than 100 people.
Filterbuy will lease 137,000 square feet of production and distribution space in New Kensington Advanced Manufacturing Park from the Redevelopment Authority of the City of New Kensington, according to an announcement Thursday from Gov. Tom Wolf’s office.
The manufacturing park, formerly Schreiber Industrial Park, is in both Arnold and New Kensington. It originally was the site of Alcoa’s New Kensington works aluminum plant in the early 1900s. The redevelopment authority bought the business park in 2018.
“We in Arnold appreciate our sister city New Kensington for attracting new business to property that they own in Arnold,” Arnold Mayor Joe Bia said. “This will not only bring careers and opportunities to the City of Arnold but also much needed additional revenue to a very tight budget.”
The company has committed to creating at least 120 full-time jobs over three years and investing at least $2.15 million for building improvements and equipment.
“We are so excited that Filterbuy has chosen New Kensington for its northeast operation center. This is another great day for our city as part of our revitalization,” New Kensington Mayor Thomas Guzzo said in the announcement. “I am especially thrilled that Filterbuy will be hiring 120 employees, which not only benefits New Kensington but the entire Alle-Kiski Valley.”
Founded in 2013, Filterbuy is a family-owned company that currently employs more than 800 people and has operations in Alabama, Florida and Utah.
Construction is underway on Filterbuy’s Arnold facility, with an opening planned for late spring or early summer, said Kiran Mathura, the company’s director of operations.
Filterbuy makes air conditioner and furnace filters for homes and businesses, and is one of the few manufacturers that can custom-build a filter to any size, Mathura said.
“We don’t have any overseas supply chains,” Mathura said. “We make everything in the U.S.”
Mathura said Filterbuy offers competitive pay and a generous benefits package to its employees.
When the company will begin hiring is dependent upon the progress of construction.
The opening of Filterbuy’s Arnold plant was partially fueled by increased demand for air filtration products during the covid-19 pandemic. The expansion will allow the company to increase its one-day delivery area in the region.
“Job creation is and has always been intertwined with our core values,” David Heacock, founder and CEO of Filterbuy, said in the announcement. “Given the increased demand for high-quality air filtration products now and well into the future, we are one of few companies adding jobs throughout the pandemic.
“We’re proud to be able to say the New Kensington plant will bring more than 60 jobs to the region by the end of 2021 and more than 100 jobs by the end of 2022.”
Filterbuy received a funding proposal from the state Department of Community and Economic Development for a $300,000 Pennsylvania First grant.