CANTON, Ohio, Feb. 21, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- After securing a new five-year labor agreement, officials at The Timken Company (NYSE: TKR) announced they will move forward with a $225 million investment at the Faircrest Steel Plant in Stark County, Ohio. With this investment, the specialty alloy steel manufacturer will improve productivity, expand its product range and increase capacity to serve growing demand for Timken® specialty alloy steel bars. (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20100210/TIMKENLOGO ) "This is a good day for our customers around the world, for our company and for the local community," said Salvatore J. Miraglia, Jr., Timken president – steel. "We've received great support for our steel expansion from state and local officials and suppliers, and now our employees have put the last element in place to make this project a go." Tuesday's ratification of a new extended labor agreement between Timken and members of United Steelworkers (USW) Local 1123 establishes workforce stability through project construction and startup in 2014. The labor agreement covers four facilities in Stark County through Sept. 2017 and replaces an agreement that would have expired in the midst of the project's start-up in 2013. "We are seeing growing demand for Timken specialty steel to support the most demanding energy and industrial applications," said Miraglia. "This is the right time to make the kind of investment that will improve our operating performance while also expanding our capacity and size range for these products. Combined, that will strengthen our ability to serve these important industries and position the business for continued profitable growth and greater shareholder value." A new ladle refiner and large-bloom continuous caster are central to the productivity gains from the investment. The new equipment also is expected to increase the Faircrest operation's shippable capacity by 25 percent and enable the production of a broader range of large-diameter bars.