Governor Tom Wolf announced COE Distributing (COE), a wholesale distributor of office furniture and accessories, will expand its footprint in Fayette County and consolidate operations from outside the commonwealth to its site in Smock, creating 20 new, full-time jobs.
“Seeing a family-owned company, which has been in Fayette County since 1940, choose Pennsylvania to invest in their future means that we have the location, infrastructure, and pro-business climate for companies to grow,” said Governor Wolf. “Additionally, bringing outsourced jobs to Pennsylvania where they belong is a huge win not just for COE, but for the people of Fayette County.”
COE currently leases 127,000 square feet of warehouse space at the Franklin Commercial Park in Smock, PA, and an additional 60,000 square feet in Uniontown. A 138,000-square-foot expansion is planned at Franklin Commercial Park for COE to consolidate the Uniontown facility and bring operations currently being outsourced to a company in Maryland in-house to the expanded facility. The expansion will allow COE to take on new business and improve operational efficiencies. COE has committed to investing at least $10 million into the project, and additionally committed to creating 20 new, full-time jobs and retaining 43 more positions statewide.
“COE Distributing is extremely excited and grateful to work with the Governor’s Action Team on our expansion project,” said J.D. Ewing, president and CEO of COE Distributing. “Securing the ability to expand at Franklin Commercial Park will allow us to confidently proceed with our aggressive growth plan and assure our operations will move forward uninterrupted. This would not be possible without the help of the Governor’s Action Team.”
COE received a funding proposal from the Department of Community and Economic Development for a $40,000 Pennsylvania First grant and a $9,000 WEDnet grant for job training. The company has also been encouraged to apply for a $375,000 low-interest loan from the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority.
The project was 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, in collaboration with the Fay-Penn Economic Development Council.
“COE is a great success story for our Fayette County economy,” said Bob Shark, executive director at Fay-Penn. “J.D. Ewing has worked diligently to create a world-class company that provides a significant number of great jobs and generates investment here. I know of the effort he expended to launch this expansion, and I’m thrilled that we could partner with the Governor’s Action Team and provide some funding to support it.”
COE is a family-owned, third-generation company, operating in Fayette County since the 1940’s. COE specializes in wholesale distribution of office furniture and accessories and deals with key manufacturers such as OfficeSource, FireKing, HPFI, Flexsteel, LA-Z-BOY, VIRCO, and Linea Italia. The company has authorized dealers in 48 states and an extensive web-order business, allowing COE to sell globally.