WELLSVILLE, N.Y. — After 135 years in Wellsville, Dresser-Rand, makers of steam turbines, will close its doors and take about 250 jobs with it.
Siemens, which still owns the commercial business, announced Tuesday it sold Dresser’s government work to Curtiss-Wright, and will relocate to North Carolina over a two-year period.
“There’s nothing our legislature can do directly but we can depend on those that are in position that can. So we’re doing everything we can to support those efforts,” said Curt Crandall, Allegany County Board of Legislators chair.
County leaders are working with Sen. Charles Schumer and other state officials to retain jobs from the company that has downsized since Siemens purchased it a few years back.
“The most important thing is we have a great workforce, but we want to make sure that workforce stays here and is obviously employed and that makes a big difference,” said Craig Clark, Allegany County IDA executive director.
In a statement, corporate leaders said it was their highest priority:
“To assist all employees during this transition and to provide access to employment resources and job search assistance for those not offered continued employment.”
Village leaders say the closure will impact utility usage, other small businesses and the overall tax base.
“We’re a resilient community. Dresser has gone through some very large heydays down to very small workforce. We’ve seen a lot of expansion and contraction by Dresser and other businesses here,” said Randy Shayler, (R) Village of Wellsville mayor.
Even lifelong residents say they feel for those losing their job.
“You have a lot of people here that depend on that shop, lot of families. And we’d hate to see them move. A lot of them have been here all their lives. That will trickle down to real estate here in Wellsville. Taxes. Money. Restaurants,” said Gloria Crawford, of Wellsville.
Though county leaders don’t want to see the long-time company leave, the reality is they now have to be proactive in finding another use for the soon to be empty building.
“How we can start marketing, that’s not the real goal. The goal is trying to keep something there, but you have to have a plan B,” said Clark.
The IDA is meeting with Curtiss-Wright leaders on Friday.