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Peterbilt gives back to community

Thursday has been proclaimed “Peterbilt Motors Company’s 75th Anniversary Day,” and we join a grateful community in offering our congratulations to company officials and employees on this historic milestone.

Peterbilt has been an industry leader throughout its history, and it would be impossible to measure the company’s full impact on Denton and the surrounding area since the Denton plant opened in 1980.

Today, Peterbilt is the largest private employer in Denton, with more than 2,200 employees between the manufacturing plant and world headquarters, said Darrin Siver, Peterbilt’s general manager.

In recognition of the company’s many contributions, Mayor Mark Burroughs read a proclamation at a recent City Council meeting lauding Peterbilt’s numerous charitable efforts and its strong employment record.

The company has transferred all manufacturing and the company headquarters to Denton over the years, and it has continually maintained a tradition of giving back to the community.

Most recently, the company made a donation of almost $400,000 to the United Way of Denton County. It was the company’s largest donation in five years.

The company has also been instrumental in supporting many other community projects through the years, from helping coordinate drives to create holiday stockings for soldiers to working extensively with Carter BloodCare and the University of North Texas.

When the Denton plant opened in 1980, it had just 92 employees in the 450,000-square-foot facility that still houses the manufacturing operation.

The company, owned by PACCAR Inc. of Bellevue, Wash., made modest gains in Denton during the 1980s, when manufacturing was split between Denton and Madison, Tenn. In 1990, the company invested an additional $1 million to expand a training facility in Denton, adding 9,800 square feet, according to Denton Record-Chronicle archives.

In 1993, the company moved the division headquarters and all engineering activities to Denton from Newark, Calif. The move brought 225 jobs to the area and added $6 million in payroll annually. By 1995, the company had 1,500 local employees, according to the archives.

Employment levels have fluctuated over the years with the market and demand, but even during lean years, Peterbilt maintained its integrity with its employees, officials told us.

“We are fortunate to have a workforce that has a lot of civic pride and gives back to the community through various charitable acts,” Siver said in a recent e-mail. “As a company and as individuals, there is a strong focus on community service and charity.”

Members of the Peterbilt family have worked hard through the years to give back to their community, and we are lucky that they call Denton home.

We appreciate their commitment to quality and service, and we wish them many more years of success.