Chicopee Firm Plans Upgrade

April 9, 2010 : The Republican, by Pamela H. Metaxas

CHICOPEE – The John R. Lyman Co. has received a $2.2 million tax-exempt industrial development bond from MassDevelopment to help it upgrade its manufacturing facilities and consolidate its operations at the Westover Industrial Park.

The 104-year-old firm, which manufactures specialized wipes for clean-room environments, will renovate an 80,000-square-foot building at the industrial park.

“As the third generation owner of The John R. Lyman Company, I am delighted to continue our commitment to Chicopee and to our local workforce. We have been manufacturing in this area for 104 years and hope to continue to many generations to come,” said William S. Wright, president.

The company’s absorbent lint-free wipes are used in medical device manufacturing, pharmaceutical compounding, electronics/wafer fabrication, and aerospace to name a few.

MassDevelopment President /CEO Robert L. Culver said “John R. Lyman has been a long-time member of the Pioneer Valley’s manufacturing community, and we’re pleased this financing can help the company grow in Chicopee. This project is just one more piece of the existing puzzle that is coming together with commercial and industrial development in the city.

Mayor Michael D. Bissonnette said Thursday the company has operations in Chicopee and in West Springfield.

“We have been working hard to have them stay here in Chicopee and keep the 85 jobs here. They were looking at relocating” before deciding to stay here, the mayor said.

In his state-of-the-city address in February, Bissonnette personally thanked the family for making a decision to stay in Chicopee.

Founded in 1906 in Springfield, John R. Lyman Company moved to Chicopee in 1937 to fill the need for industrial wiping cloths.

The company formed a division in 1970 called Lymtech Scientific to manufacture and convert rolls of material into wiping cloths for classrooms. Applications for these absorbent lint free wipes include medical device manufacturing, pharmaceutical compounding, electronic/wafer fabrications and aerospace.

This is the second time this year MassDevelopment has made an award in this city.

The city received a $100,000 grant for the next phase of demolition at the former Uniroyal/Facemate property paving the way for a $2 million development grant. The $100,000 grant is from the MassDevelopment Finance Agency, Brownfield Redevelopment Fund and will be used for a technical analysis concerning the stability of the buildings not included in the current demolition, said Bissonnette.

MassDevelopment, the state’s finance and development authority, works with businesses, financial institutions and communities to stimulate economic growth across the commonwealth.

During fiscal 2009, MassDevelopment financed or managed 229 projects statewide representing the investment nearly $1.2 billion in the Massachusetts economy. These projects are supporting the creation of 1,488 new housing units and 8,232 jobs; 3,362 permanent and 4,870 construction-related.

© Copyright 2010 The Republican.