Governor Tom Wolf announced that Highwood USA, a manufacturer of low-maintenance synthetic wood components, will be expanding its operations into Hazleton, Luzerne County, and will create 58 new Pennsylvania jobs.
“This expansion represents more than just the creation of 58 family-sustaining jobs in Hazleton,” said Governor Wolf. “It also signals the growth and evolution of manufacturing in the commonwealth. Since day one, my administration has been focused on building our manufacturing sector, and Highwood’s expansion shows that Pennsylvania manufacturing is strong – and only growing stronger.”
Highwood purchased an existing 146,000-square-foot building in Hazleton City. The company will move its fabrication and supply chain units to the new facility while maintaining its 93,000-square-foot headquarters in Rush Township, Schuylkill County. Highwood will invest at least $7.4 million into the project, which includes acquiring and renovating its new facility as well as upgrading its current facility. The project will create a total of 58 new jobs over the next three years and retain 132 more.
“We are thrilled to add a second location so close to our current production facility,” said John Quarmley, CEO of Highwood. “With the support of Governor Wolf and the Department of Community and Economic Development, we can stay in Pennsylvania and retain all the fantastic and dedicated employees who build our outdoor furniture. With the state’s assistance, Highwood won’t miss a beat during the ramp-up of this new plant, and we will continue to draw on our neighborhood for more skilled people as we grow our business.”
Highwood USA received a funding proposal from the Department of Community and Economic Development for a $116,000 Pennsylvania First grant and $116,000 in Job Creation Tax Credits to be distributed upon creation of the new jobs.
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 Greater Hazleton CAN DO, the Hazleton area’s local economic development organization.
“Highwood’s expansion into a vacant industrial building within the City of Hazleton should bolster the city’s tax base through the creation of 58 jobs and an investment of more than $7 million,” CAN DO president Kevin O’Donnell said. “CAN DO is proud to have played a role in assisting Highwood in locating to Greater Hazleton, but specifically, being able to work with the city to help drive economic growth at this time is especially rewarding.”
Founded in 2003, Highwood USA produces next-generation, ultra-low maintenance, made-in-USA synthetic materials for OEM projects and outdoor furniture. The company’s goal is to produce eco-friendly materials that mimic the look of nature’s finest materials and provide years and years of durability with minimal maintenance.