One of western Pennsylvania’s iconic businesses is back up and running in a permanent location. The ribbon was cut today for the new Wendell August forge in Grove City Pennsylvania following a devastating fire in March of 2010.
Governor Tom Corbett was on hand for the event and heaped praise on the company’s tenacity.
“You have shown great resolve and I want to thank you for that,” Corbett said. “Not only have you recovered from the fire of 2010 but I understand you are expanding.”
Corbett stressed that the reopening of the factory and flagship showroom was not due to a government program, it was thanks to the leaders of the company making a commitment to the state. However, the state did give the company a $4 million Economic Growth Initiative grant in 2012.
Following the March 2010 fire, Wendell August moved its operation to temporary locations. Many of the company’s molds were saved from the flames so it was able to quickly begin limited production.
Wendell August currently boasts more than 90 total employees. The company might have to lay off workers as it moves into its new home but official say they plan to surpass 100 total employees in the first year and as many as 200 employees in five years.
The company bills itself as the oldest and largest forge in the United States. It was founded in 1923 by Wendell McMinn August who was working in the coal industry at the time.