Linda Nitch on Growing Investment & the Economy in Lawrence County; Part 3 of a Bi-Weekly, 10-Part Series

by on April 25, 2016

Part 3 of a Bi-Weekly, 10-Part Series

NAIOPQuotesLindaNitchNote:  The Pittsburgh Regional Alliance (PRA) invited each of its economic development partners from the 10-county region to tell us about what is top of mind for them when it comes to marketing their counties – and the Pittsburgh region – for business investment.  We provided 10 questions and asked our partners to respond to some or all of them, providing fresh insight and perspective at the micro (county) and macro (region) levels. 

Here are some of the responses that Linda Nitch, executive director, Lawrence County Economic Development Corporation, shared with us.

Q: At the heart of America’s industrial heartland, our region has a long history and a big reputation for making things.  We are well poised to be in the lead of a resurgence of “made-in-America manufacturing.” What stands out about manufacturing in your county right now?

Lawrence County has been a home to industrial manufacturers for 150-plus years.  Two that stand out examples today are North American Forgemasters and Portersville PRD.  North American Forgemasters invested more than $110 million in its downtown New Castle facility.  This included construction of a new heavy industrial building which surrounds a new, state-of-the-art open die press, with the capacity to forge ingots of up to 340,000 lbs.  Portersville PRD – a leading provider of highly engineered, lifesaving valves and related products and solutions for the power, oil and gas industries – has constructed a new, 50,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Shenango Township.”

Q: The region has a solid inventory of business parks, which make decisions to invest here all that much easier. Tell us about one notable industrial park in your county.

Millennium Technology Park has more than 200 greenfield acres available with shovel-ready lots ranging in size from five acres to 74 acres.  Utilities are conveniently located in the access road.  A key incentive for locating in the park is the Keystone Opportunity Zone tax abatement through 2020.   The park is ideally located between two major airports Pittsburgh International and Cleveland-Hopkins International Airport.  Within a short driving distance from the park is the local New Castle Airport or the nearby Akron-Canton airport.  Millennium Technology Park is superbly located among the U.S.’s main interstate arteries:  Interstates 80, 79, 76 and 376.  Additionally Lawrence County boasts access to two Class A Rail Carriers – the Norfolk-Southern and CSX – through local shortline New Castle Industrial Railroad.

 Q: Foreign direct investment:  it puts our region on the global map, and investment from other parts of the world is fuel for our economy.  Which country is the leading international investor in your county, and name a global company in your region that’s exceptional? 

Lawrence County is home to Steelite International and EZEFlow. Steelite International’s corporate headquarters is in the U.K. It’s a worldwide supplier of innovative ceramic tableware with a North American headquarters in Millennium Technology Park. The 60,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art warehousing facility is manned by 100 employees. The facility is located in a Foreign Trade Zone which offers duty-free warehousing of the tableware manufactured in the U.K. Canada-based EZE Flow, with local operations in Shenango Township, is a proud manufacturer of butt weld pipe fittings.  It provides 24/7 manufacturing and delivery worldwide from a large inventory of materials in all sizes including plate, welded and seamless tubular products for every shape and configuration. Lawrence County recognizes that foreign direct investment is another tool to expand the local economy by importing investment from outside of the country.

Read the complete article, “Take 10 [Questions],” featuring responses from all of the region’s economic development professionals.  The piece was originally published in the Pittsburgh Business Times as part of a supplement for the NAIOP Pittsburgh 23rd annual awards banquet in March.

Check back on the PRA Blog every Monday and Wednesday for the next installment of the #Take10Pgh blog series.