Spartan Motors, which designs and manufactures specialty chassis and vehicle bodies, recently accepted a grant and tax-credit package worth $678,000 for its Ephrata PA plant expansion and long-term job growth initiatives.
The award, from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, follows a $214 million United States Postal Service (USPS) contract to build more than 2,000 cargo-body vehicles for parcel delivery.
The company said the state extended its Pennsylvania First Program (PFP) grant through the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED), along with Job Creation and Manufacturing tax credits, demonstrating a commitment “to further Pennsylvania’s position as an economic leader.”
“On the heels of our USPS truck-body win, we needed to make a determination on where to manufacture those vehicles,” said Daryl Adams, president and CEO of Spartan Motors. “Rather than build or buy a new facility elsewhere, we made the decision to re-invest in and revitalize our Ephrata location, placing the Utilimaster truck-body plant here.”
Utilimaster, a go-to-market brand of Spartan’s Fleet Vehicles & Services business unit, has engineered, manufactured and assembled purpose-built parcel and last-mile delivery vehicles for more than 40 years.
Last October, Spartan announced the USPS award as the largest revenue contract in its history. The USPS cargo-body order consists of a combination of 18- and 24-foot Cab Over Engine and Cab Behind Engine Utilimaster truck body configurations. The initial order of 2,000 truck bodies will be built and delivered over the span of two years, beginning in May, with an option for additional quantities to be delivered over a third contract year.
The win and resulting plant expansion is expected to create nearly 200 full-time jobs over three years.
Pennsylvania’s PFP grant of $300,000 is for the project. Alongside the grant, it provided Job Creation Tax Credits of $378,000, based on the wages Spartan workers will earn. Additionally, Manufacturing Tax Credits were offered for the creation of the long-term, full-time jobs.
“We’re committed to this location, our workforce and to better serving our customers by having a larger presence on the Eastern seaboard,” Adams said. “Programs like the PFP and the corresponding tax credits offered by Gov. (Tom) Wolf and the DCED made that expansion easier.”