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(l-r) Kencor CEO Rick Kennedy, Babette Phillips, John Phillips, John Dodds and Ed Sullivan

ATIS Acquires Lerch Bates’ Inspection Portfolio

American Testing and Inspection Services (ATIS) and Lerch Bates entered into an agreement in December 2017 in which ATIS will acquire the elevator inspection portfolio of Lerch Bates Inspection Services (LBIS), the companies announced.

Through the acquisition, St. Louis-based ATIS expands its position as the largest U.S.-owned elevator-inspection company, officials said. ATIS has nearly 100 QEIs, is licensed in more than 30 states and has a portfolio of more than 50,000 elevators and escalators. The company has acted as a longtime partner of Denver-based Lerch Bates, which, as a result of the agreement, will hold a minority stake in ATIS. By spinning off LBIS, Lerch Bates — a global consultant for the vertical-transportation industry — will focus on expanding its core business of consulting on elevator modernizations, service audits and ground-up design projects.

The companies will continue to work together. Lerch Bates will exclusively enlist ATIS for its clients’ code-required elevator inspection needs, while ATIS will offer expanded opportunities for its customers to take advantage of Lerch Bates’ consulting services.

Kencor Expands Mid-Atlantic Reach With Acquisition

Kencor Inc. Elevator Systems, headquartered in West Chester, Pennsylvania, has acquired certain assets of ResCom Elevators LLC, a residential and commercial provider of a variety of lifts. Representing Kencor’s fourth acquisition in as many years, the move promises to enhance Kencor’s operations and ability to serve customers. John Dodds, Kencor chief operating officer, said:

“We are excited about the new talents and products this brings to our organization. This investment represents an important strategic decision to offer our services to new geographical areas such as Baltimore; Washington, D.C.; and northern Virginia.”

Ziehl-Abegg Joins N.C. GAP Program, Enjoys Record Sales Year

To help facilitate rapid growth at its U.S. headquarters in Greensboro, North Carolina, German fan and motor manufacturer Ziehl-Abegg has joined the Guilford Apprenticeship Partners (GAP) program. Geared toward high-school juniors and seniors, as well as military veterans, the four-year program provides the opportunity for participants to earn an associate’s degree in Manufacturing from Guilford Technical Community College while bringing home an hourly salary. Observing that nearly 10% of Ziehl-Abegg’s German workforce is apprentices, Mirco Herrmann, managing director for Ziehl-Abegg’s North American region, said the company’s goal is to permanently hire participants.

In a separate announcement, the company reported that 2017 was a record year for sales. CEO Peter Fenkl said in early December 2017 that the company had already surpassed its annual sales record, fueled by demand for the company’s energy-saving devices, and was expecting to reach EUR530 million (US$624 million), a 10% increase over 2016. Ziehl-Abegg employs 2,000 people at its production plants in Germany and has a global workforce of 3,550 spread across 16 production plants, 27 companies and 97 sales locations. Its products are sold in more than 100 countries.

ECS Supports Women in VT Through Girl Scouts Donation

ECS Corp. donated 150 Montgomery-style P69273 release cams to the Technology and Manufacturing Association (TMA) that will be used in hands-on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) activities by two Girl Scout troops during the annual STEMapalooza events in the Chicagoland area. The first event, for the Girl Scouts of Northern Illinois, is planned on February 3 in Woodstock, Illinois, and the second, for the Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana, on March 24 in Country Club Hills, Illinois. The effort was coordinated through the Women in TMA Committee that advocates for women in manufacturing through education, networking and career advancement. During STEMapalooza, a Women in TMA representative will explain the manufacturing process, while the Girl Scouts make necklaces from the parts. ECS President Rick Milefchik said:

“The incoming talent in the vertical-transportation (VT) industry reminds us of the need to share our knowledge and experience. We feel strongly about supporting our community and the leaders of tomorrow. It is our hope that this small gesture will help inspire the next generation of manufacturers and VT professionals.”

KICC Expansion in Louisville Includes New VT

A 218,000-sq.-ft., US$209-million expansion of the Kentucky International Convention Center (KICC) in downtown Louisville, Kentucky, is underway in earnest, with major components such as escalators arriving onsite in December 2017, Louisville Business First reported. The KICC is expanding to approximately 900,000 sq. ft. and aims to welcome its first convention by August. Vertical transportation (VT) is a big part of the upgrade. Paul T. Cable, architect, Commonwealth of Kentucky, told ELEVATOR WORLD that KONE is providing 16 new escalators, while thyssenkrupp is providing four new passenger, two new service and two new freight elevators, as well as refurbishment of existing elevators, including redesign of cab interiors.

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