On Friday, Gillig LLC launched its new manufacturing plant in Livermore, Calif., with a ribbon cutting ceremony that included several local dignitaries.
During the ceremony, Derrick Maunus, president of Gillig, said the three-year transition overcame several hurdles, including the wettest winter in the region’s history, before calling it a great day for America and American manufacturing.
While surrounded by both current and former Gillig employees, Maunus credited them for the company’s long-term success.
"These 900 men and women have made the company successful,” said Maunus, adding that the move to Livermore from nearby Hayward keeps stable, skilled jobs in the U.S., setting the company apart from other companies who have chosen to leave the state or country to take advantage of cheaper labor.
In Livermore, Gillig built a 600,000-square-foot main facility, as well as a 50,000-square-foot building used for fabrication and assembly and a 27,000 square-foot facility to prepare the buses for delivery. The move, which took three years of meticulous planning, was completed losing less than two days of production, with each employee receiving an individualized move plan.
In addition, VP, Sales and Marketing, Joe Policarpio said about 95% of employees stayed on with the company after the move, with the large influx of employees in the area having a minimal impact on traffic, due to the company’s hours of operations.
Policarpio added that Gillig plans on being able to ramp up production in the near future, as well as continuing to develop an electric bus, with the first having recently been delivered to Concord, Calif.’s The County Connection.