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Contradicting concerns from company employees that the sale of Dresser-Rand to the German firm Siemens could result in loss of jobs, U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer recently said he was "cautiously optimistic" that the sale could mean more jobs. Schumer made the remarks after touring the Dresser-Rand plant in Painted Post, a facility in the Southern Tier.
Schumer visited Dresser-Rand’s other plants in Olean and Wellsville. After speaking with Dresser-Rand CEO Vincent Volpe and CEO of Siemans' energy business Lisa Davis, urging them to preserve jobs in the Southern Tier, the senator expressed faith that this sale will be an exception.
"I'll do everything on my part to keep jobs right where they are and push for an increase in jobs,” Schumer said. “Dresser-Rand is a staple of the local economy. There's a tremendous opportunity for Siemens to expand in the United States. I believe the chance for growth is large, and the chance for job loss is small. I'm confident Siemens will recognize the quality of the products. I'm very confident the merger is an opportunity to grow jobs, not shrink them."
Dresser-Rand makes compressors and other products, primarily for the oil and gas industries. The company was formed in 1987 when Ingersoll-Rand and Dresser Industries formed a joint venture out of their common businesses. Siemens announced in late September its plans to purchase the company, which employs 8,100 worldwide and more than 2,000 in the Southern Tier, for $7.6 billion.
The German manufacturer pointed to a desire to expand its presence in U.S. oil and gas extraction, something Schumer said is a good sign. Dresser-Rand makes machines used in the extraction process, “the best products of their type in the world,” he said. The company currently employs roughly 530 workers in Painted Post, according to Steuben County IDA Executive Director Jamie Johnson, who accompanied Schumer on the plant tour.
Schumer, who has worked with executives of other New York companies involved in mergers, such as Bausch & Lomb and Johnson & Johnson, to help preserve jobs, said he would continue to monitor the developments in the Dresser-Rand sale and to do all he can to increase the company's presence in the Southern Tier and Western New York.