The Tyler Trane plant plans to keep more than a thousand yearlong jobs and invest millions in revamping its facilities with the help of a statewide program.

On Tuesday, the Tyler City Council approved a resolution supporting Trane/Ingersoll-Rand's participation in the statewide Enterprise Zone program. The program allows designated projects to get breaks on state sales and use taxes. The company's participation in the program does not impact local tax revenues, but Trane has to have a city council nomination to be eligible for the program.

Trane is proposing a $22 million capital investment as well as a commitment to 1,187 jobs in the city.

Trane's Tyler facility opened in 1956 as an air conditioning plant and grew into one of Tyler's largest employers, as well as one of the largest Ingersoll-Rand facilities in the world. More than 1,300 people are employed at the facility, including plant workers and engineers.

"We are not going anywhere," Tyler plant Manager Ted Crabtree said. "We are proud citizens, and we've been here since 1956. We go back to GE days."

Over the next five years, Trane anticipates spending $3 million on renovating its existing building and infrastructure, including the roof, electrical and infrastructure. Of that, $459,000 will be spent on labor and construction.

Another $19 million will go toward new machinery by 2019. That includes purchasing manufacturing equipment to for stamping, painting, fabricating and assembling air-conditioning units.

The improvements are designed to make the manufacturing process more efficient and make the final product more cost effective for the company.

The commitment also includes maintaining at least 1,187 yearlong employees over the next five years, in addition to the seasonal employees the company employs during peak demand.

Crabtree said the upgrades could allow the facility to grow to meet future demand increases.

"(It) means more revenue into our economy and more money to their employees to spend in the community," Assistant City Manager Susan Guthrie said.

Ms. Guthrie said Trane fits into the city's overall economic development strategy of a diverse job market, including tourism, manufacturing, service industries, technology and medical care.

"The manufacturing jobs are very important to the community, but the key is diversity and keeping all facets of our economy strong," she said.

TWITTER: @TMTFaith

Digital Content Manager

Faith Harper is an East Texas native working for her hometown newspaper. She specializes in digital content for the Tyler Morning Telegraph. In her spare time, she loves tacos, road trips and is currently learning to sail.

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