Photo by Kathryn Ross
Kinley Advanced Technical Services (KATS) is refurbishing the maintenance area of the former Dresser-Rand facility in Wellsville, with plans for operations to begin in the spring.
By KATHRYN ROSS
WELLSVILLE — After sitting idle for nearly two years, the former Dresser-Rand facility in Wellsville will once more be home to a company with roots in the area’s oil industry.
Kinley Construction Group of Arlington, Texas, announced that its newest division, Kinley Advanced Technical Services (KATS), is moving into the former Dresser-Rand manufacturing complex on Coats Street where it will provide service, maintenance and parts manufacturing for a wide range of industrial engines, equipment and components.
KATS specializes in inspection, repair and overhaul of complex steam turbines, trip and throttle valves, reciprocating compressors and engines and centrifugal compressors.
Before moving to the Lone Star State, the Kinley family lived in Olean, where it still maintains construction and oil businesses. Kinley Corp., a general contractor and construction management company serving Western New York and northwestern Pennsylvania, is headquartered in Allegany.
“KATS service and repair facility will soon open in Wellsville, bringing new jobs to the Allegany County area,” a Kinley news release stated. “The facility was a former manufacturing facility that closed in 2020, taking with it multiple manufacturing jobs. Given Kinley Construction’s rich history in Western New York, KATS is especially proud to play an important role in driving economic growth in the region.”
Kinley Construction is managed by the sixth-generation of Kinley family ownership, Jimmy Kinley and his sister Katherine Kinley.
Kinley CEO Jimmy Kinley explained, “As a family and company with deep roots in Western New York, this location aligns with our goals to continue expanding our presence in the area and take advantage of some of the best people and talent in the country —something we’ve been doing for over 100 years in this region. We’re elated to reopen this facility to serve the oil, gas and power generation markets and drive new job growth in Allegany County.”
Bill Glenn, chief market officer of Kinley, said of the number of employees destined to work for KATS in Wellsville, “The facility will open with a smaller team of mechanics/technicians and field service personnel. We are currently hiring skilled field services personnel, specifically supervisors and mechanics/technicians. All job vacancies for this facility are posted on Indeed.com. We look forward to potentially expanding the number of employees in line with our business growth and customer needs.”
What caused the company to look at Wellsville?
Kinley wasn’t courted nor did it work with the county office for economic development. Glenn said they worked directly with the building owner, “Having had a business presence in the region for over 100 years, we were aware of the site’s history and current availability, as well as the talented and skilled workforce in and around the region. The combination of these factors made the location very appealing and a logical choice.”
About a dozen workers are already at the facility in Wellsville, where they are refurbishing the former maintenance building. Ben Hall, out of KATS’ Pennsylvania operations, is helping with the renovations. He said that it is not certain when the facility will be ready, but that the company is looking at March.
“This will keep growing,” he said of the Wellsville site, “KATS is looking to build a legacy here. We know how much it means to Wellsville.”
Wellsville Mayor Randy Shayler is excited about the new arrival.
“This is outstanding news,” he said. “It’s exciting to see employers recognize their opportunities and skilled workforce available here in Wellsville.”
Kinley’s website chronicles its history, which dates back to the mid-1800s when Adam Kinley started tannery-manufacturing and timber harvesting in Western New York.
“In the late 1800s, oil was discovered in the region and Adam Kinley’s son, William, formed Kinley Oil Company in 1909. Kinley Oil Company continued producing oil and gas in Western New York and northwestern Pennsylvania for the next 80 years.”
The contribution of the Kinley family to the oil history of the county was recognized by the Bolivar Pioneer Oil Museum in 2016 when James Kinley, past president of Kinley Oil, was inducted into the Wall of Fame highlighting the pioneer oil producers of the area.
According to its history, “The Kinley family extended their operations in the early 1980s by establishing oil and gas operations in Oklahoma and Texas. At the same time, they began industry-related construction projects across the U.S. This was spear-headed by J.L. Kinley, the fifth generation of Kinley family to own and manage the business. Now known as Kinley Construction Group (KCG), the company is headquartered in Arlington, Texas.”
KCG specializes in industrial projects related to fuel, energy and transportation throughout the United States and North America, focusing primarily on hydrocarbon products including crude oil, ethanol, liquid propane gas, natural gas, condensate, jet fuel, diesel and gasoline.
The Wellsville industrial site was redesignated the Wellsville Business Park in December 2020 after Siemens Energy closed operations there earlier that year. There is 400,000 square feet of factory and 50,000 square feet of office space at the former Dresser and Siemens site, which had been vacant since April 2020.
The site had been one of the largest employers in the area for decades, with manufacturing contracts both national and international. It was one of the largest employers of a skilled, industrial workforce and at any given time employing as many as 1,000 workers.
The facility was first opened as the Moore Steam Turbine Co. in 1916, going through several mergers until it was acquired by Dresser Industries in 1985. Dresser Industries partnered with Ingersoll Rand in 1986 to create Dresser-Rand. In 2015, German conglomerate Siemens purchased Dresser-Rand.
Siemens officials announced in 2018 the division would be sold to Curtiss-Wright, which immediately announced it would close the facility and move production to an existing plant in South Carolina.