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Olson & Olson Inc. expanding again

November 22, 1999|By DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Having just completed one expansion, a Franklin County manufacturer has been approved for a low-interest state loan to begin another.

Pennsylvania's Small Business First Fund has approved a $200,000 loan at 5 percent interest for Olson & Olson Inc., of 1151 Sheffler Ave., in the Chambers-5 Business Park, according to Franklin County Area Development Corp. Executive Director L. Michael Ross. The loan will go toward a 15,000-square-foot addition to the plant with a total project cost of $643,500.

"We just moved into the new building in the last two weeks of October," company President Eric Olson said Monday.

That 18,000-square-foot building was completed at a cost of more than $1 million, with $475,000 of that coming from a Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority loan.

The expansion will add at least eight new jobs at the plant, which makes hydraulic cylinders and machined parts for area heavy equipment manufacturers, including Grove Worldwide in Shady Grove, Pa., JLG Industries in McConnellsburg, Pa., and Bri-Mar Manufacturing next door in the business park.

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Olson said the company now employs about 40 people, including welders, machinists and operators of computer-controlled equipment.

Construction of the new addition will begin in December and will take four or five months to complete, Olson said. When completed, it will house welding and fabricating operations, he said.

Olson wouldn't disclose sales figures but said 1999 has been "exceptional." He wouldn't talk about wages and salaries but said, "I think we're pretty competitive."

"Our facility is one of the most high-tech and nicest facilities in the region," he said.

The company began as a part-time machine shop in 1989 and has grown rapidly. "In the last 10 years we actually went through four facilities because of expansion," Olson said.

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