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Ritz-Craft adding 100 to workforce by October

September 11, 2018

From The Daily Item reporter Justin Strawser:

MIFFLINBURG — The expanding Ritz-Craft aims to have 100 new employees hired and renovations completed to its facilities within two months.

State Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) Secretary Dennis Davin joined local leaders and stakeholders in touring three of the structural manufacturer’s facilities at 15 Industrial Park Road, Mifflinburg. Both plants closed during the 2008 economic recession, but the first plant reopened in 2015, with assistance from the Wolf Administration, to manufacture commercial buildings. Renovations to the second plant are expected to be completed toward the end of October.

"It's incredible what they do, how they do it, the fact they've been doing this all their lives essentially, they took over for their father who started the business here," Davin said. "They really have a great thing going."

Ritz-Craft will increase its production capacity by more than 80 percent by reviving a dormant facility through a nearly $1,000,000 investment into renovations, upgrades, new equipment and tooling. The company creates modular structures for homes, hotels, apartment buildings and assisted living facilities.

Paul John, president/CEO and co-owner, and Eric John, vice president and co-owner, also announced a 10 percent salary increase to employees starting last Friday. The company will provide 550 jobs in Mifflinburg, Michigan and North Carolina once the renovations are completed.

The goal is to continue to hire and train new employees in preparation for completion of the renovation, Paul John said.

"We want to make sure to get them trained, they're safe, and they have a great attitude," he said.

Both projects were coordinated by the Governor’s Action Team, an experienced group of economic development professionals who report directly to the governor and work with businesses that are considering locating or expanding in Pennsylvania.

Ritz-Craft received a funding proposal from DCED for $120,000 in Job Creation Tax Credits to be distributed upon creation of the new jobs and a $50,000 Pennsylvania First Grant. The company was encouraged to apply for low-interest loans through the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority.

The state has an annual $10 million available to use toward workforce development.

Davin said strengthening the manufacturing sector is one of the top priorities of the Wolf Administration.

“The growth of a company like Ritz-Craft demonstrates the importance of manufacturing for job creation and development in Mifflinburg and all of Union County," he said.

Union County Commissioner John Showers, state Rep. Fred Keller, R-85, and Mifflinburg Mayor David Cooney said they were impressed with the tour.

"I'm excited they're expanding in Union County," Showers said.

Cooney noted the state-of-the-art equipment and the great work ethic of the employees.

"Everything is very well thought out," Cooney said.

Ritz-Craft, headquartered in Mifflinburg, builds off-site systems-built modular housing. The company is one of the largest family owned modular and manufactured home builders in America. Ritz-Craft modular homes are available for sale by local builders, dealers and developers in New England, Northeastern, Mid-Atlantic, Mid-Western and Southeastern states.

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