Sharon Tube expansion makes official debut - News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Sharon Tube expansion makes official debut

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WHEATLAND, Pa. - Sharon Tube Company's new modern manufacturing expansion made its official debut Tuesday at a corporate celebration.

A ribbon cutting ceremony was followed by tours of the plant for those invited to the event. The main stop on that tour showcased the company's latest production line that's creating items expected to serve a niche market.

Sharon Tube officials say some of their competitors are no longer making a product line of larger tubing or went out of business during the recession. Sharon Tube saw an opening and pounced on the opportunity to fill the void left behind.

The line runs on one shift, while the smaller tubing is produced in the older portion of the plant across three shifts.

"The existing facility produces up through 6 inch tubing, the new facility will produce up through 9 inch tubing, so obviously we have to generate the customer interest to purchase the new sizes," says Sharon Tube president Bill Perrine.

The 250,000 square-foot plant is a supplier for a variety of customers, from companies with oil and gas drilling sites in and out of the area, to motorcycle manufacturers.

In order to create a new line, Sharon Tube bought supplies and equipment from a Boardman company, and that purchase resulted in an economic domino effect.

"We're a small company, we have 16 people, so we have 16 families we have to feed and this has helped us tremendously," Paul Russo, vice president at George A. Mitchell Company, says.

This wasn't the first time the Wheatland business decided it would work with the valley company.

"It helped us in '09, they bought equipment off of us when we were at a very bad year in '09," Russo says.

About a dozen new employees work on the new line, but hiring is still ongoing for welders and skilled trade workers.

According to Perrine, a handful of openings remain, but more could be around the corner if the demand for larger tubing increases.

"I'm sure in the future as we grow, the volume here and grow the business. This is a place to build careers, life-long careers and that's what we want, we're quite proud of that," JMC Steel Group CEO and chairman Barry Zekelman says.

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