Liebherr Mining Equipment will undergo a major expansion, adding 174 jobs to the Peninsula workforce near Newport News, VA over the next four years, the company announced.
Liebherr has been manufacturing large mining trucks in Newport News since 1970 where it serves as the North American headquarters for four subsidiaries of the German-based Liebherr Group.
The expansion will allow Liebherr Newport News, which has more than 540 employees, to double its output to 125 trucks a year, Florence Kingston, Newport News’ director of development said.
The average salary for the jobs at Liebherr Mining Equipment Newport News Co. will be $46,067 a year, excluding benefits.
"We're a defense-dependent and government-dependent region," Kingston said. "This is a project that is basic manufacturing, which creates a lot of spinoffs, and it's a company that does not depend on government contracts."
The city of Newport News will provide Liebherr $1 million for infrastructure and other work, Kingston said. The state will give Liebherr $1.3 million in grants.
In a statement, Joachim Janka, the president of the company, said, "For the past 40 years, Liebherr has established a strong infrastructure in Newport News and Hampton. The area has a wealth of experienced workers and is in close proximity to our supplier and main customer base."
"We invest during unfavorable conditions to achieve superior returns in the long run. We believe in the resilience of the American economy and will be prepared to excel when market conditions improve."
In 2009, Liebherr Newport News announced that it would lay off 49 workers because of the downturn in the mining industry. The next year, however, Liebherr reported a rebound in business and said it would add at least 80 employees.