By John B. SnyderJanuary 4, 2013
WATERVLIET ARSENAL, N.Y. (Jan. 4, 2012) -- The proverb "It takes a village to raise a child" may be applied to the great work the Watervliet Arsenal workforce did in supporting our nation's warfighters and the community in 2012, because it took the entire Arsenal village to ship each product.
Despite the downsizing of U.S. combat operations Afghanistan last year, the Arsenal was still able to have respectable revenue to the tune of nearly $89 million, which was down about $10 million from the previous year. But those numbers don't tell the true story of the Arsenal's manufacturing achievements.
It took every one of the 600 Arsenal employees, from machinists to contract specialists to painters to transport drivers, to ship the more than 7,900 items from the Arsenal last year.
This was accomplished with an on-time delivery rate exceeding 96 percent. The Arsenal's manufacturing mix also saw a shift from cannon production being the largest percentage share of direct labor requirement to the production of mortar tubes and associated equipment, now nearing 58 percent of the production flow.
Nonetheless, the Arsenal shipped out in 2012 approximately: 650 mortar tubes; 30 105mm cannons; 110 155mm cannons; 4 120mm cannons; 500 60mm baseplates; 500 81mm baseplates, and 260 120mm baseplates.
Additionally, the Arsenal had more than $67 million in contracts and nearly $19 million of that went to New York state companies. Contracts ranged from the purchase of raw stock for cannon manufacturing to the installation of a new power substation.
Also in the $89 million of revenue is the fact that the Arsenal did all this safely.
In 2012, the Arsenal experienced a 73 percent reduction in lost days and it currently exceeds OSHA industry safety standards for private sector manufacturers. Some of this good news may be directly tied to new safety initiatives that rewarded the workforce more than 50 times in 2012 for identifying and mitigating safety hazards.
With regard to the Arsenal's economic effect on the local community, the Arsenal employee pay and benefits package for the last fiscal year was nearly $50 million, which paid for such things as groceries at local supermarkets, home purchases, car and home insurance policies, all the way down to coffee at the local donut shops.
In addition to the monetary effects on the community, the Arsenal also participated in nearly 60 community events that honored Veterans, fallen heroes, and our servicemen and women.
The Watervliet Arsenal (pronounced water-vleet") is an Army-owned-and-operated manufacturing facility located in Watervliet, New York. The Arsenal is the oldest, continuously active arsenal in the United States, having begun operations during the War of 1812.
Today's Arsenal is relied upon by U.S. and foreign militaries to produce the most advanced, high tech, high powered weaponry for cannon, howitzer, and mortar systems. In July 2013, the Arsenal will celebrate its 200th anniversary.