Monday, October 7, 2013

S.T. Johnson Co. joins Fairfield manufacturing hub

By Brian Miller and Karl Dumas
October 06, 2013

The recruitment of manufacturing companies remains a high-priority target for local economic development efforts and is a critical engine of economic growth.

Manufacturing is certainly visible in Fairfield, with major companies like Anheuser-Busch, Clorox and Ball employing hundreds of people and contributing significantly to the local economy. Fairfield offers a central location, available water and sewer capacity and a diverse stock of modern yet affordable industrial space.

At a recent county planners’ “brown bag” lunch, Sandy Person, executive director of the Solano Economic Development Corporation, said, “Manufacturers are a catalyst for innovation and economic growth. A manufacturing company not only employs its own workers but can attract other companies which provide local employment, including suppliers, marketing firms and distributors. Manufacturers also add value to the local property tax base and contribute sales tax revenues.”

It is always good news when a manufacturer decides to locate a facility in Fairfield.

S.T. Johnson Company, an Oakland-based company,has announced plans to move into a facility at 5160 Fulton Drive. S.T. Johnson Company designs and manufactures burners for industrial and commercial plants, boiler management controls, burner modernization controls and fuel handling systems.

Economic Notes spoke with Barbara Florio, controller for the company, about their plans.

Economic Notes: Please tell our readers a little bit about S.T. Johnson and the company’s history.

Barbara Florio: S.T. Johnson Company is an industry leader in providing reliable and innovative combustion solutions to industrial and commercial users. S.T. Johnson Company was founded in San Francisco in 1903 as a burner manufacturer and fuel oil distributor. The company rose to prominence in the 1920s with the advent of the Johnson rotary burner, which was famous for its simplicity, reliability and durable design. Today we continue a tradition of innovation and excellence that produces a modern array of both packaged and engineered combustion systems that lead the industry in quality, reliability and pollution control.

EN: What made you choose Fairfield for your new location?

Florio: Fairfield is centrally located between the San Francisco Bay and Sacramento markets, which is a well-positioned location for our business.

EN: Will there be other operations occurring in the Fairfield facility in addition to manufacturing? Is there room for expansion in Fairfield?

Florio: We are leaving Oakland and consolidating all operations in Fairfield, including engineering and manufacturing. The Fulton Drive facility has plenty of room for expansion in all areas of our operation.

EN: How many people do you anticipate employing in Fairfield? When will the Fairfield facility be up and running?

Florio: We expect to be fully up and running within a few weeks. I can’t predict numbers, but it is safe to say there will be numerous employment opportunities in the coming months and years.

S. T. Johnson joins a diverse roster of manufacturing companies that call Fairfield home.

Fairfield is of course known for the cluster of food- and beverage-related businesses, including breweries, specialty foods and food packaging. Fairfield is also continuing to attract companies that provide specialized equipment and tools to regional, national and international industry.

This kind of high technology and innovative industry is the wave of the future as these companies can support the high-tech industry in the central Bay Area, while our food and beverage companies take advantage of the agriculture bounty of inland California.

Economic Notes is an update from Fairfield City Hall written by Brian Miller and Karl Dumas of the Fairfield Planning and Development Department. Reach them at 428-7461 or email at or