Centre to extend tax benefits for Philipsburg firm
By EMMA GOSALVEZ
BELLEFONTE — A manufacturer within the Moshannon Valley Regional Business Park is looking to expand and provide more employment opportunities in the Centre region.
During their Tuesday meeting, the Centre County Board of Commissioners discussed a resolution that would provide tax benefits to Advanced Powder Products, Inc., or APP, which will be breaking ground soon on an approximately $5 million expansion.
The resolution, which will be approved at next Tuesday’s meeting, will extend tax benefits from Jan. 1, 2019 through Dec. 31, 2025, since the company is located in a Keystone Opportunity Expansion Zone, or KOEZ. A KOEZ is a geographic area that can provide state and local tax benefits in order to revive communities that are economically distressed through the elimination of taxes.
APP, located at 301 Enterprise Drive in Philipsburg, has already gone through two expansion since it was founded in 2001, the most recent taking place in 2015, according to Kevin Hoffman, APP facilities manager. Over a period of 18 months, the company grew from 30 to 70 full-time employees.
Currently, the facility is slightly more than 20,000 square feet, and Hoffman said the new plans call for construction of a facility on an adjacent lot. The new state-of-the-art facility will be approximately 20,000 square feet to continue the company’s metal injection molding and metal 3-D printing production processes.
“Our projections are 50 to 60 full-time employees in the new facility, and an annual income of sales will be approximately $12 million, which is what we’re projected to do this year out of building number one,” said Hoffman.
The median income for an employee will be approximately $35,000 per year, he added. “Hopefully, being free of the taxes for a while will really help out with that.”
The new facility will help APP be able to break more into the medical side of the business, which it currently only does 10 percent of. Hoffman said that APP also does approximately 60 percent firearms and 30 percent industrial business.
The plan is to break ground on the new facility before the end of the summer and continue the project through fall 2019. Hoffman said that the plan is to have the new facility fully operational by the end of 2019.
To help further invigorate the local economy, the plan, if possible, Hoffman said, is to use all local contractors. In the past, APP has used contractors from Philipsburg, Clearfield and State College.
“There’s always talk about trying to attract new businesses to the community and maybe not enough conversation about how to retain and expand the ones that are here and try to provide the accommodation,” said Commissioner Steve Dershem. “This is one of those where I think the payback for this will be huge.”