When John Swatkoski decided to find a new home for his business, he was searching for a location that would allow Vacuum Processes, Inc. (VPI) to grow. The high costs of doing business in eastern Pennsylvania prevented VPI from reaching its full potential, so he and his team pulled up stakes and moved just over three hours east to Everett, Pennsylvania.
The difference was noticeable from the start. Working with the Bedford County Development Association, Swatkoski quickly located a property and was approved for bank loans and state funding. “They made it extremely easy,” he says. VPI was quickly able to settle into their new home and focus on manufacturing vacuum and thermal process equipment for clients in industries ranging from aerospace to electronics and beyond.
The abundant support VPI discovered in Bedford County was matched by low costs and a relaxed pace of life. The company can enjoy all of these perks without losing the easy market access provided by the big city. Located within easy reach of Interstate 68 and other major highways, Bedford County is connected to the markets of the Washington Metropolitan Area, Baltimore and Pittsburgh. Since VPI creates products for customers nationallyand internationally, this ease of access is essential—and profitable. In 2011, they expanded their offices to serve their growing clientele. Life and business are good and the company “has no plans to leave,” according to Swatkoski.
VPI is a welcome addition to the region’s industries. Their vacuum chambers, pumps, furnaces and other products are used as space simulation chambers, for heat treating, dry pumping and dozens of other applications. Their products are designed, built and engineered onsite, with VPI completing 95% of their work internally. However, whenever they have the opportunity, VPI collaborates with local companies to complete their products. This “working local to support local” attitude contributes to the expertise and experience of the area’s businesses.
As a highly-specialized company, VPI relies on well-rounded and curious employees to design and build their products. New hires are trained to perform multiple tasks involved in the design, engineering and installation of vacuum products and technologies. in design, engineering, installation and other fields. When hiring, Swatkoski searches for highly-motivated individuals who are hardworking and eager to learn, and who are committed to expanding their skills and growing with the company.
Pennsylvania CareerLink, a program of the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry, is another local resource VPI has taken advantage of, which has yielded positive results. Their hiring practices completes VPI’s reputation as a business that uses local advantages and business support to its benefit, and takes advantage of the community through business collaboration and local hiring.
Want to learn more about Bedford County and the rest of the I-68 region? Discover success stories and opportunities for industry on the I-68 Regional Alliance website.