Prince George plant plans 2014 expansion
By Veronica Garabelli
A new year means new opportunities
for Service Center Metals in Prince George County. The aluminum
extrusions manufacturer not only is celebrating its 10-year anniversary
this year but also is planning to expand in 2014.
Scott Kelley, the company’s
president and CEO, says the expansion would add more than 20 employees
and 80,000 square feet to its 150,000-square-foot-Prince George
facility, which now has 120 workers. Service Center Metals currently
produces bars, rods, pipes and custom shapes.
As part of the expansion, the
company will recycle scraps from its production to create cast-aluminum
billets. The billets then will be used as raw material in its extrusion
manufacturing. The result, says Kelley, is a cheaper, greener
alternative because the company will not have to buy raw material from
Service Center Metals was founded
in 2002 by Kelley, Randy Weis and Chip Dollins Jr., three former
Reynolds Metals Co. executives. Unlike bigger competitors, the company
deals exclusively with service centers, which resell the products to
manufacturers. “It was a unique concept, and we wanted to make sure our
customers understood our commitment to their industry,” Kelley says.
To launch the company, the three
founders began raising money a week before 9/11. Economic ripple effects
from the terrorist attack slowed down the financing process. “We got to
the point where we had to make a decision whether to continue or go
back into the work force,” Kelley says.
They stuck it out and shipped their
first product in 2003. By 2006 things were looking good; the company
doubled the size of its plant and tripled capacity.
Service Center Metals, however, hit
a rough patch in 2008 during the Great Recession. Demand fell by 40
percent, forcing the company to cut production jobs. Nonetheless, Kelley
says, the company bounced back and was able to hire back its full crew
of workers by the next summer.
“We’re probably going to be more
successful than we ever thought,” Kelley says. “Even with the recession,
which was quite a jolt, the company is doing extremely well. We are
able to grow, and our customers and investors and, more importantly,
employees have a lot of confidence in our ability to grow the business.”
In September, Service Center Metals
received a Resilience Award for manufacturers from the Initiative for
Business in Society at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of
Business. The awards recognize companies that have shown resilience in
economically depressed areas of the state.
© 2011 Service Center Metals