HARRISBURG - Meeker Equipment Inc. will open a new plant at an old foundry in Belleville, which closed in 2008.
"The responsible development of Pennsylvania's energy resources is leading to new opportunities for manufacturers that provide supplies and services to the oil and gas industry," Governor Tom Corbett said. "Meeker Equipment's expansion will transform a shuttered facility into a new manufacturing plant and new jobs for the people of Mifflin County."
Meeker produces equipment used in the production of asphalt.
"It's mostly heavy metal fabrication," said Bob Meeker, the company's president.
Meeker Equipment will acquire and renovate a 60,000-square-foot facility two miles from its current site in Belleville. The company will invest more than $1.35 million in the project that is expected to create 20 new positions and retain 15 existing employees.
Meeker said renovations to the foundry will be done over the summer, with hiring to begin in the fall. Those positions could include welding, fitting and possibly some machining jobs.
The expansion is part of Corbett's Jobs1st initiative.
"Meeker Equipment is grateful to the commonwealth for (its) assistance in securing the financing and acquisition of the Belleville foundry ... We look forward to occupying and renovating this building for our use and expect to be there for many years to come," Meeker said. "We also thank all those in the community and at Mifflin County Industrial Development Corporation for their help, courtesy and cooperation both in the past and as we look forward to our future growth."
The company received a funding proposal from the Department of Community and Economic Development including a $10,000 guaranteed free training grant to be used to train its new workforce. Additional funding includes a $40,000 Pennsylvania First program grant that facilitates investment and job creation and $20,000 in job creation tax credits.
The Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority will provide a $400,000, 15-year loan at 2.25 percent interest to MCIDC on behalf of Meeker Equipment. The company was encouraged to apply for a $250,000 low-interest loan from the Machinery and Equipment Loan Fund. The company accepted the funding proposal, but must still apply for each loan and grant and agree to the terms prior to award receipt.
For more information on Meeker Equipment, visit www.meekerequipment.com.
Health and business editor Kim Hayes contributed to this report.