Dynamically increasing production and more and more work places – this is what the metal sector looks like in Eastern Poland. Although this branch is most strongly represented only in two voivodeships of the Macroregion, it is systematically increasing.
The metal sector development is strictly connected with the dynamics of other industry branches. You cannot say anything about the improvement in this branch if there’s no economic prosperity in the other branches. Within the metal sector there is a production from metals of the following items: containers, different constructions and their elements, tools and building materials.
As the statistics for 2009 show, in terms of revenue from sale the third enterprise in metal industry in Poland was Celsa Huta Ostrowiec Sp. z o.o. from the Świętokrzyskie voivodeship. It is not a coincidence that the biggest production plant in this branch is located in this region. The Świętokrzyskie together with the Subcarpathian is the leader in metal sector in the whole Eastern Poland. Metal industry is also the biggest employer there; it employs almost 10 thousand people. It is worth noting that Celsa, the biggest producer in the aforementioned branch, employs about 1300 people. In the Subcarpathian there are even more people employed in the metal branch. About 40 per cent of all inhabitants work in this branch there. This is the best result in the whole Macroregion, and what should be comforting is the fact that the number systematically rises.
As for the other voivodeships of Eastern Poland, metal industry is the strongest in the Warmian and Masurian Voivodeship. It is a bit less developed in the Lublin region, and the worst situation is in the Podlaskie voivodeship.
Metal industry in Eastern Poland is concentrated in a few centres.
The first one is the Industrial Region of Rzeszów. The casting cluster Kom-Cast is the leader there. The headquarters of the board is in Rzeszów, but the initiative surpasses the borders of the Subcarpathian voivodeship. Within its structures 26 enterprises form the Subcarpathian, Świetokrzyskie and Lublin regions started cooperation.
The members of the cluster have together 20 per cent participation among Polish casting companies. The export data are even better. In this case the cluster has as much as 30 per cent participation in it. 26 companies employ over four thousand qualified workers.
Another centre of the metal branch is the Staropolski Industry Region. The following companies are its members: plants from Kielce (e.g. NSK Bearings Polska), Ostrowiec Świętokrzyski (e.g. Celsa Huta Ostrowiec, Wytwórnia Konstrukcji Stalowych – Steel Constructions Production Plant), Skarżysko Kamienna (Me.g. Metal Plant Mesko) and Starachowice (e.g. Polish Foundries). The Lublin Industry Region is much smaller; its members are plants in Janów Lubelski (Caterpillar Poland) and Kraśnik (Tsubaki-Hoover Poland).
The centres of the metal branch located in northeastern part of the Macroregion are much scattered. The plants work mostly near big cities such as Bialystok (e.g. Ferrox, Pronar) or Elbląg (e.g. Metallurgy Plant Alstom).
It seems that metal industry in Eastern Poland will be developing in the coming years. As Polish Agency of Information and Foreign Investment has stated the whole Macroregion has a very high investment potential in this branch.
As for now, German and American companies have invested in Eastern Poland the most willingly. Experts say that the competitiveness of the region in terms of the qualifications of the staff and low payments and not enormous prices for real estates will attract another foreign entrepreneurs. What’s more, the development of this branch will be facilitated by the fact that the Macroregion is located near the borders of other countries belonging to EU and the former members of USSR and that the communication network is constantly developing. That’s not the end. Those interested in locating wealth in the industry in Eastern Poland may expect special incentives. They may count on the support of 50% of qualified costs to a new project. Poland gives them a chance to receive the income tax exemption in special economic zones, real property tax exemption and a possibility to apply for grants from the national budget.
Employers looking for highly qualified staff in Eastern Poland should have no problems with that. At this moment in the whole Macroregion there are about 300 thousand students, a part of them studies at technical universities on the faculties necessary to work in metal industry. Here are some examples of the universities with such faculties:
- Białystok University of Technology, where there are the following faculties: design and operation of machines and
vehicles, automatic control, and robotics;
- Lublin University of Technology: material engineering, design and operation of machines and vehicles,
- Kielce University of Technology: material engineering, design and operation of machines and vehicles, and management
and production engineering
- Rzeszów University of Technology: material engineering, aeronautics and space technology, mechatronics.