Youngstown — United Protective Technologies, a specialty coatings and engineering company, will open a downtown location to focus on doing business with the federal defense industry.
“We have to be in this area, anywhere from the West (Pennsylvania) to Michigan because we have a customer base here and we are now serving from North Carolina and the distance is It’s too far away,” says Marty Efrid. CEO of UPT.
“That’s our production business. There’s also a scientific part to our business. We’re developing new technologies for the military to reduce corrosion and improve part wear, life and performance.” ‘ he said.
About 35% of the company’s business deals with the defense industry, Efrid said.
UPT “considered other cities,” he said, but chose Youngstown because of support from the Youngstown Business Incubator, Youngstown State University and Team NEO.
“There’s a lot of support for companies that have structures that allow companies that don’t have a presence in the region to come in, have a conversation, and have a foot in the door,” says Efrid.
UPT is finalizing a deal to purchase the Federal Street building, which is expected to open in December or January, Efrid said.
The office of U.S. Representative Tim Ryan, who met with Efrid and other business people who work in the defense industry on Friday, is UPT’s Youngstown building across from the Penguin City Brewing Company. He said it would be downtown on East Federal Street.
Efrid said UPT will employ 30 people in its first three years of operation in Youngstown, with plans to increase that number to 60 by year five.
The company has approximately 60 employees at its headquarters in Locust, North Carolina. The headquarters will remain there.
UPT conducts research and development for several government agencies including NASA, Navy, Army and Air Force. We also coat industrial, commercial and consumer goods such as injection molds, firearms, knives, valves and gears with advanced thin film coatings that extend product life.
The Youngstown/Warren Area Chamber of Commerce helped UPT with site selection and connected the company with talent development partners and contractors.
“This is a great opportunity for the (Mahoning) Valley. It involves actual production on top of some research and development,” said Shea MacMillan, vice president of economic development at the Chamber of Commerce. “Some people have PhDs. Level employees who work outside of this facility on top of skilled workers.”
“This is a testament to the collaboration between the organization, with the resources we have put together with the Youngstown Business Incubator, ourselves, Tim Ryan’s office, and the builders to create a good, supportive and cohesive community in the long run. It shows that you are, buddy.”
McMillan said the connection to Youngstown was made through Youngstown’s Advanced Manufacturing Applied Research and Innovation Institute (AMARII), which linked the company with the Youngstown Business Incubator.
YBI CEO Barb Ewing, who is also a member of AMARII’s Advisory Board, said: “They are very concerned with developing a skilled workforce … I think these are really high quality jobs and say a lot about the quality of the ecosystem that we have built here.”
AMARII, a wholly owned subsidiary of the National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining, advances manufacturing technology and strengthens manufacturing in Northeast Ohio and beyond.
America Makes, the National Institute of Additive Manufacturing Innovation, also in Youngstown, is part of the center’s network.
Ryan, D-Howland said he has spent the last 20 years working to “go beyond the cutting edge to diversify the economy here to create a future for our children and to support national security.” .
Ryan’s office staff said he helped congressmen give the UPT $6 million in federal defense spending.