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Flexicon to double in size in 2014

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Flexicon Corp., an industrial manufacturer, will expand its facility in Bethlehem Township, adding at least 50 jobs.

The company, which manufactures engineered industrial bulk handling and processing equipment and systems, is outgrowing its existing facility. To support the company’s increased workload and addition of a new product line, the company plans to invest more than $6.3 million to add an additional 90,000-square-foot expansion to the 91,000-square-foot facility. Flexicon will retain its 138 existing employees at this site.

“Our sales and our product lines continue to grow, and we are beginning to exceed the capacity of our current facility in Bethlehem,” said Dan Capwell, marketing coordinator for Flexicon Corp. “This is not our first expansion. We moved to this current location in 2002 after we outgrew our Phillipsburg, N.J., facility, which was not our initial location, either.”

Capwell said the company expanded overseas with locations in the United Kingdom, Australia, South Africa, Chile and, most recently, Singapore.

The company serves a variety of markets, including the pharmaceutical, mining, chemical and food industries.

Flexicon is looking to hire a wide array of talent, from experienced design and electrical engineers, to highly skilled welders and metalworkers, Capwell said.

“Also we will no doubt expand our IT [information technology], accounting, purchasing, marketing and office-support staffs,” he said. “It will also create additional opportunities for internal growth as we like to promote from within whenever we can.”

The company will begin construction for the expansion within six months, and be occupying the new space by the end of 2014.

J.G. Petrucci Co. Inc., which has offices in Bethlehem and Asbury, N.J., is the contractor for the project.

“As we continue to look ahead, we don’t see this as the culmination of our growth, but the next step in the process,” Capwell said.

Gov. Tom Corbett made an announcement last week that highlighted how the state, Northampton County and local economic development groups aided the expansion and support for the project.

The company received a funding offer from the state Department of Community and Economic Development, including a $100,000 Pennsylvania First Program grant, $100,000 in job creation tax credits and a $22,500 guaranteed free training grant to be used to train its new workforce.

Additionally, Flexicon received an offer for a $250,000 low-interest loan from the Machinery and Equipment Loan Fund to be repaid in 10 years, and a $2 million low-interest loan from the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority to be repaid in 15 years if Flexicon chooses to accept it.

The Governor’s Action Team, a group of economic development professionals who work directly with businesses that are considering locating or expanding in Pennsylvania, coordinated the project in collaboration with the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corp.

On Oct. 9, the Northampton County Industrial Development Authority approved the opportunity for Flexicon to receive tax exempt financing up to $6 million for the expansion, said Alicia Karner, the agency’s executive director.

The agency approves tax exempt financing for nonprofits and manufacturers in the county. When Flexicon moved to Bethlehem Township in 2002 from New Jersey, the agency authorized the use of $5.6 million for the project at that time, Karner said.

Brian Pedersen

Brian Pedersen

Reporter Brian Pedersen covers construction, development, warehousing and real estate and keeps you up to date on the changing landscape of our community. He can be reached at brianp@lvb.com or 610-807-9619, ext. 108. Follow him on Twitter @BrianLehigh and read his blog, “Can You Dig It,” at http://www.lvb.com/section/can-you-dig-it.

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