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At Buzzi Unicem, a century of cement and change

The writing on this 1919 photo describes the plant in Stockertown, as Atlantic Cement Mills. In fact, by then it was called Hercules Cement, the name adopted by Morris Kind when he bought the plant in 1916.

Known for overcoming seeming insurmountable challenges, Hercules, the hero in ancient Greek mythology, also inspired a Lehigh Valley cement company that is celebrating a century in business.

Known for overcoming seeming insurmountable challenges, Hercules, the hero in ancient Greek mythology, also inspired a Lehigh Valley cement company that is celebrating a century in business.

From bridges to turnpike barriers, basements, footings and cement block, Buzzi Unicem USA, headquartered in Hanover Township, Northampton County, has supplied cement customers for the past 100 years, with annual estimated cement production runs of 8 million metric tons per year.

“The Lehigh Valley is one of the birthplaces of [the] cement industry in the United States,” said Don Cunningham, president and CEO of Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corp.

Founded in 1916 as Hercules Cement Co., today’s Buzzi Unicem upholds such qualities as innovation, creativity and flexible solutions, as well as reliable outcomes for customers. Its parent company is Buzzi Unicem of Italy, a cement manufacturer which operates in 12 nations with 9,700 employees.

To celebrate its centennial, Buzzi Unicem USA held an open house at its Stockertown plant for employees, retirees, family members and community members this month. The company also published a commemorative booklet on its 100-year history.

Paying attention and practicing lessons learned from experience help position Buzzi Unicem to better serve its customers, according to Julio Folhadella, manager of Buzzi Unicem’s Stockertown plant.

“[We] focus on our clients and their needs and always being open for opportunities in the market,” Folhadella said.

Michael Buskirk, owner of Rock Hill Concrete Inc. of Catasauqua, is a long-time customer of Buzzi Unicem’s.

“We’ve done business for more than 40 years,” Buskirk said.

He said reliability and customer service stand out among Buzzi Unicem’s business qualities. “We work with a lot of cement companies, and [Buzzi Unicem] are the people I go to first,” Buskirk said.

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