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Newly formed LLC bringing jobs, money to the County

LIMESTONE, Maine — Loring Industries, an LLC formed less than a year ago, already is making an impact at the Loring Commerce Center. 

Loring Industries, the most recent addition to the New England Kenworth Group, played a key role in renegotiations of a multi-million dollar contract to have the Maine Military Authority refurbish public buses owned by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority.

Gov. Paul LePage’s administration put a pause on the $19 million contract last year, saying it had been underbid and could put Maine taxpayers at risk of having to cover cost-overruns.

“MMA, MBTA, and the governor’s office mutually agreed that Loring Industries would step in, buy parts, deliver inventory to the production line, and provide labor for the disassembly operation,” Tim McCabe, head of business development with Loring Industries, said recently.

Both New England Kenworth and Loring Industries are owned by Joseph Alosa Sr. of Concord, New Hampshire. Alosa owns three other Kenworth facilities in Maine, as well as two in Vermont and New Hampshire.

“We came up here in February with the specific goals of setting up a truck parts store and preparing to service the Maine Military Authority,” said McCabe, adding that Loring Industries is in Limestone “per request of the governor and MBTA,” as part of an agreement which involves buying “roughly 80 percent of the parts and components for the [MBTA Bus] project,” inventorying them and eventually taking them to the production line, which is also on the former Air Force base.

While those employed with MMA have highly specialized training, the Loring Industries crews help them with a variety of tasks, including disassembling the buses and prepping them for repainting.

When Loring Industries employees aren’t helping out with the MBTA project, they’re working with MMA crews to refurbish Motor Coach Industries buses and a 125,000 pound waste landfill compactor for Casella Waste Systems.

McCabe said one of Loring Industries’ primary goals is to “help customers manage the lifespan” of large vehicles and fleets.

“Refurbishing programs can help you extend your dollars significantly,” McCabe said. “If you spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on a bus with a ten year lifespan and, after five years, spend a couple hundred thousand to extend the lifespan by seven years, it’s a significant savings.”

“You’re not buying ten new vehicles every year,” McCabe said. “Instead, you could buy five new ones and overhaul the other five. It’s a good method of fleet management.”

Since arriving in Limestone, Loring Industries has hired roughly 24 employees and may expand as the firm takes on new jobs and clients.

“Our projections for the next three to five years are that we could be in the 150 to 200 range as we bring on new customers,” McCabe said, also mentioning that three of the new hires are military veterans and two came out of Loring Job Corps.

“The first crew I brought in were all unemployed,” McCabe said. “They never had any mechanical jobs, but they had the capability and they had the desire; now they’re one of the hardest working group of guys we have.”

Unlike MMA, which operates under the Maine Department of Defense, Veterans and Emergency Management, Loring Industries is a private organization. However, both work hand in hand on nearly every project, and McCabe said they could be taking on customers from all over the United States.

“You could be anywhere in the country when you deal with large vehicles like this,” McCabe said, “and the competition is out there. You have to accommodate your customers, and sometimes that means going out to the Midwest to pick up a vehicle.”

Due to some deals being in the negotiation phase, McCabe was not able to be specific about future prospects, but he said the company is ready to handle a variety of large fleets, including military vehicles if necessary.

“We can absolutely handle howitzer tanks and other military vehicles,” McCabe said. “There are certain aspects of aircraft we could handle as well, and we’re trying to pursue any and all of those opportunities.”

Before joining Loring Industries, McCabe worked with MMA, and said he’s seen some familiar faces since starting his new career.

“The County’s a beautiful place to be,” McCabe said. “This is a really great part of the world and we’re happy to be here.”

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