SAEGERTOWN, Pa. - A massive $80 million expansion project is officially underway in Saegertown.

Leaders broke ground Thursday afternoon, adding to what they call their "anchor facility."

LORD Corporation has plants all over the world, but after a national site selection process, the one in Saegertown stood out to them the most. Now, one of the biggest expansion projects in the company's history is underway. 

"We've launched some new initiatives in some new markets, like electric vehicles, and we need to expand our capacity to be able to support that new market," said Lord Corp. President and CEO Ed Auslander.

Auslander and other company leaders broke ground on the 75,000 square foot addition Thursday afternoon. It will go behind the current facility, which is located off of Rt. 198. The company already employees 235 workers in Saegertown, which is the most of any LORD Corporation manufacturing facility. In addition to those 235 workers, this project is expected to add many more jobs when the expansion wraps up in 2023.

"This facility is set up from a transportation perspective," said John Essman, the Saegertown plant manager. "We do have land, we do have laboratory requirements."

"They've got most of the permitting done that they need to do and it's full-steam ahead," said Chuck Lawrence, Saegertown borough manager.

The project will support much of the work the Saegertown plant already does, including adhesive and coating manufacturing for automobiles.

The company looked at several of their other locations across the United States, but the available land and the local skilled workforce helped seal the deal, Auslander said.

That community support also comes in the form of a 10-year tax break from Crawford County and other taxing bodies, Lawrence said.

The company operates 19 manufacturing facilities worldwide with other locations in Erie and Cambridge Springs.

"Saegertown is our flagship facility for the world," Auslander said.