For the second time this week, officials with a major manufacturing business cut the ribbon on a new facility in Mercer County.
On Friday morning, officials with Pennex Aluminum officially celebrated taking over part of the old Werner Ladder building in Greenville. The aluminum casting facility has been idled since Signature Aluminum closed up shop in 2008.
“And it’s just great to start up an operation that had been idled for nearly four years and to see the renewal to see the relief to add new jobs, to hire new people, and there has been some great people we have hired here and we are excited about it,” said Pennex Aluminum CEO Rick Merluzzi.
Twenty-two people have been hired at Pennex to make aluminum billets with at least nine more expected to be hired.
The billets made at Pennex will go over to ILSCO Extrusions next door, where they will be turned into electrical components for cars and homes. ILSCO owns the building and is leasing the 40,000-square feet to Pennex.
“It’s important because we have a nice long-term relationship with a good supplier of quality material for our own operation and it gives us a real security in our ability to provide quality products for our customers,” said ILSCO Extrusions operations manager Gary Jones.
The total investment by Pennex is $3.5 million, with assistance provided by the Governors Action Team to help make the deal happen.
Officials said the manufacturing plant is part of a renaissance in the area. Mercer County Commissioner John Lechner said at the ribbon cutting ceremony on Friday the new plant signifies a new positive direction for manufacturing in the area.
“It’s nice to see this big facility being rejuvenated and filled back up with workers,” Lechner said.
On Tuesday, Sharon Tube celebrated a $45 million expansion to its Wheatland plant that added about 15 jobs.