Beta announces St. Albans expansion plans
ST. ALBANS, Vt. (WCAX) - Beta Technologies, Vermont’s multi-million dollar electric aerospace startup, is expanding to St. Albans. Franklin County officials say they are banking on the company to bring high-paying jobs to the area.
Beta officials announced Thursday that they are taking over the old Energizer battery facility on Swanton Road in St. Albans, the latest expansion for the South Burlington-based high-tech company.
“We’re very pleased, obviously, and we are looking forward to a long relationship with the community and Beta,” said Douglas Corey, the owner of Main Street Graphics, Beta’s newest neighbor in their manufacturing facility. He says they’re excited to share the space and expects Beta will breathe new life -- and jobs -- to the community. “It’s great to have a company like them -- cutting edge technology, a battery company that’s taking aeronautics to the next level. and to be on the forefront of that, I think, is wonderful for the area.”
Beta’s initial focus for the facility is research, development, and validation of its aerospace-grade battery packs. We got a sneak peek inside the facility before Beta renovates the space. It includes a clean room where Energizer used to work on batteries, making the site a good fit for Beta. It’s also a short driving distance to Beta’s final assembly and manufacturing facility being built in South Burlington.
In a statement, the company’s CEO Kyle Clark says: “At BETA, responsible development and sustainability goes well beyond aircraft flight operations, and the opportunity to revitalize the St. Albans Energizer Plant for next-generation energy solutions is an important part of this approach.”
Beta says they anticipate hundreds of jobs coming back to the area. St. Albans City Councilor and Democratic state representative Mike McCarthy says he’s excited about what he believes will be a positive impact on the community. “We’re really excited here in St. Albans to play host to such an innovative manufacturer. They are literally building a greater future and to have those jobs and that innovative business here is something we are really really proud of,” he said.
Others we spoke to in St. Albans agree. “If it’s going to help the city, I think it’s a good thing,” said Leeann Emery of Milton.
“I think it’s a great opportunity for the St. Albans area and neighboring communities. There are a lot of jobs but they aren’t necessarily high-paying jobs, so my hope is that this would provide higher paying jobs for folks in the area,” said Flora Hurteau of Milton.
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