Greater Pee Dee Business Journal November/December 2011 : Page 37

For those hired by the facility, a number of benefits will be available. we’ve had together in the past,” Wilcox says. “The synergy of everybody work-ing together in the plant environment is why we are doing it. It makes sense for us, when we are retooling our product line, to do that in one facility.” And that new line, the Gen2 eleva-tor, includes a number of green tech-nologies. The line uses less space and less hydraulic fluid, as well as LED lighting. Combined with the elevator’s ReGen drives, energy use can be reduced by as much as 75 percent when compared to conventional systems. “We’ve changed how we generate the power,” Wilcox says. “We essentially use the elevator as a generator. It’s actu-ally generating electricity which feeds back into the building’s power grid. We don’t use a cable that requires lubrica-tion, that is exposed to the elements.” The jacketed belts of the ReGen drives used in the Gen2 elevator allow the system to capture energy during travel with heavy loads down and light loads up. Controlling light usage can also make a difference in energy use. “A user doesn’t realize these things, but those things affect the power consumption,” Wilcox says. Wilcox says Otis will soon begin identifying those who will make the operation a reality. He says the majority of those working on the plant floor, as well as some in engineering and finance, will be local residents. For those hired by the facility, a number of benefits will be available. “We offer, as a global company, an Employee Scholar Program,” Wilcox says. “We work with employees of every level of the company to offer them additional education. It is quite a gener-ous program.” To date, some 30,000 employees worldwide have completed degrees through the Employee Scholar Program, a program of United Technologies Corporation, of which Otis Elevator is a part. The program covers eligible tuition, textbooks, and academic fees and expenses for classes taken by eligible employees who are pursuing a degree at an approved educational institution. With its new investment in Florence, Wilcox says Otis Elevator continues a historic tradition. “The founder of our company was really about providing safe trans-portation,” Wilcox says. “Our founder developed a safety mechanism that allowed elevators to be used safely for human transportation. We hope to be an employer in the community that really stresses that value.” And its familiar name – seen daily on elevators throughout the Pee Dee – will now mean even more to the region. “We were in South Carolina when the first buildings added elevators and that was 100 years ago,” Wilcox says. “In some respects, we feel like we are coming home.” GPD BJ NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2011 GREATER PEE DEE BUSINESS JOURNAL | 37

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