Shared by our friends at , read a letter from Kenworth PA 300+ employees, on how the severance could adversely impact these individuals. AND, look deeper to how the local small businesses are impacted; grocery stores, laundry services, gas stations, restaurants, salons retailors and mom & pop establishments and more importantly the — lack of jobs for the next PA generation.
Tim Mitchell is the President of Motor Truck Equipment Company, now known as Kenworth of Pennsylvania. The company has expanded its presence outward from central PA to include five major locations and three satellite stores throughout the state. Other divisions today include Motor Truck Thermo King, handling refrigeration needs, and Motor Truck PacLease, serving the truck leasing & rental markets.
Below is a letter Tim Mitchell wrote to Governor Wolf regarding his companies opposition to the proposed Severance Tax on the oil and gas industry and how it would negatively affect Kenworth of Pennsylvania.
Five years ago Kenworth of Pennsylvania employed 210 employees with a total of five dealerships. Today we employ over 300 Pennsylvanians at 8 dealerships, one of which we reopened to meet the demand of the growing Marcellus Shale industry in Venango County. We had closed this dealership in 2001 due to the struggling economy. To reopen this facility took more than turning the utilities back on. We invested millions to revamp the building and put inventories back in stock. The facility now employs 35 Pennsylvanians too. Today, like our other facilities, it is a thriving truck dealership, thanks in no small part to the Marcellus Shale industry.
Kenworth of Pa has invested in its other facilities too. In 2010 and 2011 we replaced two whole facilities to increase capacity with state-of-the-art technology and at most locations expanded storage to house the additional parts to service the natural gas industry across the state.
As you can see Kenworth of Pa has made major investments to service the natural gas industry. All told our investment to meet the demand of the growing Marcellus industry in Pennsylvania is well over $15 million.
I’d be remised if I didn’t recognize our employee growth during this same period. From hiring technicians and parts professionals to facilitating the growth of our employees through advanced training and certifications, we’ve created and expanded good paying, family-sustaining jobs across the state.
Over the last couple years, our fellow truck dealers from other states have fallen into hard times. While they continue to dig their way out those hard times, we never went in; for Kenworth of Pa and our Pennsylvania employees we kept on moving ahead. Where our fellow truck dealers in other states had to layoff off employees, had to freeze wages, Kenworth of Pa is still hiring and giving our employees steady wage increases, year over year. Like our neighboring truck dealers our sales declined to over the road sleeper fleet but Kenworth of Pennsylvania sales kept steady. The natural gas industry filled the void that we had lost from the over the road trucking fleets and we sold as many if not more New Kenworth trucks over those last couple years.
We have seen our customers diversify into the natural gas segment of transportation. When they couldn’t find freight to take across-country they filled their trailers with supplies to support the natural gas industry or they filled their dump trucks with aggregates to haul on to natural gas locations. For the most part Pennsylvania truckers are healthy.
I would hate to see a proposed energy tax jeopardize the best thing Pennsylvanians have experienced in a long time. We at Kenworth of Pennsylvania are very proud of our growth and we can thank our energy sector customers for this growth
Governor Wolf, from the 300 plus Kenworth employees and my fellow truck dealers and their families, do not make the mistake of passing such a punitive tax!
Motor Truck Equipment Company
Tim Mitchell Shares Company Story at Jobs Rally in Harrisburg: