CTTC Publications: Articles

Got It! City wanted start-up firm

Metal Integrity factory locates on N. Scott St.

Attractive financing and business assistance were not the only reasons that Metal Integrity, LLC, chose Carbondale as its location.

"Carbondale wanted me more than anyone else," said Dave Rollison, the start-up firm's president.

Rollison, a Moscow resident, founded Metal Integrity in November as a custom and contract metal fabricator to serve eastern Pennsylvania and the surrounding areas. Since graduating from the Johnson School of Technology about 20 years ago, Rollison has worked for several regional metal fabricating companies with much of that time in administration and management. Most recently, he was general manager of a 105-employee plant.

The University of Scranton's Small Business Development Center helped with Metal Integrity's business plan, Rollison said, and suggested Carbondale as a good opportunity. The Carbondale Enterprise Devlopment Zone Corp. provided a low-interest $62,500 loan and although he first considered moving into the Carbondale Technology Transfer Center, the firm instead became the CTTC's second off-site client by utilizing its business services, but locating at 47 North Scott Street. It has two employees with a combined 50 years of experience and plans to add about eight workers by the end of its second year.

"The Enterprise Zone's goal is to create jobs within the community," EDZ Program Coordinator Nancy Perri said. "We feel the best interest of the community is in attracting not necessarily one company with a large number of jobs, but several companies with 10 to 100 employees each. Mr. Rollison's well experienced in this type of business and we anticipate that he'll be very successful."

"He has a great background in his industry," CTTC Executive Director Paul Browne said. "He's knowledgeable about the customer base and his competition, and we think he's going to be a good addition to the economy of the area."

Rollison said his firm uses precision equipment, technical expertise, and low overhead to provide high quality, reasonably priced solutions ranging from repair and maintenance items to complex assemblies for original equipment manufacturers. Among the processes Metal Integrity offers are gas metal and gas tungsten arc welding, computer numerically controlled turret press fabricating, and press brake forming of most ferrous and non-ferous metals from 0.018 to 0.25 inch thickness.

Browne said Metal Integrity's jobs would be an important addition to the area's employment mix.

"We've had a lot of technology oriented businesses to date in the center," he said, "and while this one involves innovative approaches, it's really going to need people that have skills in the industry but not necessarily the high tech type skills. It's going to add some jobs that people will really be looking for."

Perri pointed to a different type of impact. "It's good to see another building go from being vacant to being occupied with an up and coming company," she said.

The CEDZ was organized in 1988 and covers Carbondale and portions of Fell and Carbondale townships and Mayfield. Over $2 million in low-interest loans and other funding has passed through the program. Information on CEDZ programs and those of the Carbondale Industrial Development Authority is available by calling Perri at 282-4632.

The CTTC offers incubator space, business and technical support services, and shared resources such as a receptionist, conference rooms, e-mail, and Internet access. It also provides funding earlier in companies' development than might other sources. Information on the center is available from Mr. Browne at 282-1255.

A $2.5 million appropriation secured by U.S. Rep. Joseph M. McDade funded the CTTC's construction and development. The center is one of several supported in part by the Pennsylvania Ben Franklin Partnership and was created by the CEDZ in cooperation with the University of Scranton and the National Institute of Environmental Renewal. Additional operational funds have been provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development through the sponsorship of Sen. Robert Mellow and by the United States Department of Agriculture's Rural Business Enterprise Grant program.

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