Mercer development picks up

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Economic development is booming in Mercer County, thanks to a strategic plan that officials started last year.

The “Make It In Mercer” campaign recruits companies from all over the world to relocate or expand in the Shenango Valley.

One Canadian firm, Noise Solutions, recently bought property as its first U.S. manufacturing plant for noise suppression equipment used in the oil and gas industry. They are currently renovating a vacant warehouse.

“There’s a regulation in every state about the noise and basically we are the ones that can eliminate that issue,” said Noise Solutions Vice President Taymour Ebrahim.

Noise Solutions is one of eight other companies that are reinvesting and creating more jobs in the area.

Those companies have created 1,000 new jobs and spent $100 million in capital investment in the last 18 months.

“We want to get the word out there we have low cost land, we have a great labor force, we’ve got this great cost of doing business,” said Penn-Northwest Development Corp. President Randy Seitz.

Officials with Penn-Northwest, the economic development agency for Mercer County, got the idea after looking at large, successful companies already in the area, like the Joy Cone Company in Hermitage.

“Mercer County feels that we have to do something to set ourselves ahead of the pack,” Seitz said. “So these are companies that have decided they could make it her so they’ve invested a significant amount of money and then they’ve made commitments to hire a significant amount of people.”

At Noise Solutions, the company said they prepare to be in full production by Oct. 15.

“The way we are looking at our business plan and the growth, we may be going up to 200 jobs,” Ebrahim said.

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