CHAMBERSBURG, Pa.—A 10-year, $1.5 million loan and a $50,000 employee training grant has allowed Edge Rubber LLC, the Chambersburg-based manufacturer of fine-mesh crumb rubber, to nearly double employment and more than double its production capacity.
Pennsylvania's Machinery and Equipment Loan Fund provided the loan, and the Guaranteed Free Training grant came from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, according to a recent press release from the office Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett.
"Our support of Edge Rubber's expansion in Franklin County will sustain continued growth, new jobs and success for years to come," Corbett said in the press release.
To put the loan package together, Edge Rubber worked with the Governor's Action Team, a group of economic development professionals who work directly with businesses that want to locate or expand in Pennsylvania, and the Franklin County Area Development Corporation.
The deal took about a year from its inception to the announcement of the loan and grant, according to Sam Kauffman, Edge Rubber vice president and COO.
"The only assurances we had to make were to pay back the loan and retain our existing jobs," Kauffman said.
The loan allowed Edge Rubber to add new production lines at its existing Chambersburg facility and to lease a 35,000-sq.-ft. facility in the Cumberland Valley Business Park for the collection and processing of scrap truck tires. Both the expansion and the Cumberland Valley facility are on-stream now, according to Kauffman.
Raw materials from the Cumberland Valley facility go to Chambersburg for further processing into fine rubber powders, Kauffman said.
The new facility allows us to be self-sufficient," he said.
With the Chambersburg expansion and the new facility, Edge Rubber now has an annual processing capacity of 75 million pounds of rubber, up from 35 million previously, according to Kauffman.
With the expansions, the company within three years will add 50 jobs, for a total of 110 employees when hiring is completed, the governor's office said.
Edge Rubber manufactures premium, fine-grade rubber powders with special surface characteristics, providing recycled content and performance enhancement for the automotive and other industries, according to the company website.
It is the only maker of rubber powders to use wet-grind technology, giving its powders their unique characteristics, the website said.