By Kenneth Books
TAFTON — Five companies were honored with 2015 Pike County Economic Development Awards at the Economic Development Summit Dinner Wednesday, Sept. 30. The awards, which consisted of plaques from the Economic Development Authority and certificates from Republican U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey, were presented in recognition of significant investment and creation of new jobs in the county.
• LP Cylinder Service, Inc., which has operated in Shohola for 30 years, expanded its existing Shohola business by 56,000 square feet, creating several new products and employing 37 new workers. The company is under the guidance of Maurice Ryman and wife Jackie, daughter Becky and son Christopher.
• Kahr Arms, which recently completed construction of a 40,000-square-foot manufacturing plant in Blooming Grove Township, opening for business Aug. 11. It is expected to employ 67 new workers as the manufacturing process begins in 2016. “We found a great family and a great county,” commented CEO Justin Moon.
• All Fresh Farms, whose three partners, Garry Merritt, Steve Nelson and Ernest DeMarco, bought the 53,000-square-foot Swiss Maid building in Greene Township this summer, will soon begin to operate its proprietary hydroponic vegetable-growing operation, designed to produce 100,000 pounds of produce each week. All fresh expects to employ 200 people.
• Econo-Pak Packaging, a former New Jersey-based company, began operating in Milford Township early last year and employs about 500 people, nearly 200 of whom are new Pike County residents. “We were able to hire some extraordinary employees,” commented CEO PJ Weibel.
• Middletown Community Health Center, founded in 1971 and led by CEO Theresa Butler, acquired the former Biondo Building, which is now its center for providing medical treatment to under-insured or minimally insured residents of Pike County.
It employs 14 people at its 9,400-square-foot facility and expects more hiring to come. MCHC also provided services to the 10 percent of county residents who are veterans.