Finance package for area carpet manufacturer means more jobs in northern Blair County

The economic outlook of northern Blair County got a little brighter with the recent announcement of state money that will help a bedding manufacturer expand.
E.R. Carpenter Co. Inc., whose headquarters is in Richmond, Va., will add approximately 70,000-square-feet of warehousing space and manufacturing operations at its already existing plant at the Pinecroft interchange, according to Scott Shultz, the plant manager.
He said in the long term, the expansion could create upwards of 70 jobs.
“When we start getting the new equipment in, we’ll start hiring more people,” said Shultz. “It would most likely be a few at first.”
According to Shultz, the reason for the expansion is the company’s recent growth.
The operations began in Antis Township in 1992, and the production has been steady ever since. Currently, the plant employs more than 150 workers.
The cost of the expansion will be about $3.8 million. Shultz said this money was received in the form of a finance package from the state Department of Community and Economic Development.
Details of the finance package include a $1.6 million Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority loan; a $1.62 million loan from the Citizens Job Bank Program; a $150,000 Opportunity Grant; a $250,000 Enterprise Zone Tax Credit and $195,000 in job creation tax credits.
Shultz said groundbreaking for the facility should occur sometime this summer.
“The news about E.R. Carpenter expanding is very good news for the township,” said Jeff Ziegler, Antis Township manager. “We’re very excited to have this business continuing to expand in our area.”
Ziegler said the news of the expansion only bolsters the fact that Antis Township is a growing “hot bed” for company location, expansion – and even more important, job creation.
“There’s a lot of really good things going on here,” said Ziegler, “and it’s not all new businesses. There’s plenty of existing businesses expanding or looking in those directions.
Ziegler noted Balfurd’s recent plans for expansion, as well as the progress of the Northern Altoona access project.
“We’re also excited about the brand new I-99 Enterprise Campus,” said Ziegler.
“We’re looking at clean businesses for that park, such as electronics manufacturers and computer businesses.
“Everything just seems to keep growing,” said Ziegler. “It’s great for the township.”