Glen Rock marked site of AMP/Tyco’s first Pa. plant

Tyco Electronics employee Brett Berwager, a Tyco Electronics employee, leaves work last week after the company said it would close its East Berlin plant, the only one remaining in Adams County.

AMP Inc., and successor Tyco, are legendary worldwide for making electrical connectors.
And it came out in reporting on the East Berlin’s Tyco plant shutdown last week that AMP’s connection to York going back to 1941 is broken.
At one time, AMP operated about a dozen plants in York County. Soon, some work will move to a leased plant in Emigsville, but that will move to Asia.
AMP’s connection to York County began in 1941.


U.A. Whitaker (of Whitaker Center fame) was operating Aircraft-Marine Products before World War II. Its product was solderless terminals — connectors that held wires fast to their electric contact. Such reliable connections became a staple part on aircraft in World War II on which there was zero tolerance for the disconnection of wires.
In 1941, he subcontracted work from his Elizabeth, N.J., headquarters to a factory in Glen Rock owned by Paul Shepperd.
“The landscape reminded him of the rural Midwest where he was raised, and the local workers seemed to adhere to a traditional work ethic,” Jeffrey L. Rodengen wrote in “The Legend of AMP.”
Interestingly, a fire at the Glen Rock plant in 1943 prompted Whitaker to disperse future manufacturing to multiple sites, which might explain their later presence in small towns across York County and elsewhere.
In addition to Glen Rock, AMP’s earliest York County plants operated in Seven Valleys and Brodbecks.
The Shrewsbury plant, the last AMP/Tyco, plant to operate in York County, shut down in 2006. Thus marked the end of a 70-year period in which AMP plants connected work to communities throughout York County.

About Jim McClure

Editor of the York Daily Record/Sunday News, ydr.com and its many digital products. Journalism/history blogger: yorktownsquare.com. Author or co-author of seven York County, Pa., history books.
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