SAY Plastics was recently awarded one of 11 investments by Ben Franklin Technology Partners, Central and Northern PA Region, in order to penetrate a new market: providing affordable thermoformed plastic parts utilizing new technology for the transportation industry. The component pictured here is a window mask being produced for Chicago’s Metra commuter rail system.
Adams County’s SAY Plastics is one of eleven Pennsylvania companies receiving funding and services from Ben Franklin Technology Partners (BFTP), a state initiative that supports emerging tech-based companies and existing manufacturers seeking diversification in innovating ways.
Ben Franklin’s funding came about as a result of a referral by Adams County Economic Development Corporation (ACEDC), Gettysburg. Previously, ACEDC financed two Small Business First loans to SAY Plastics.
SAY Plastics will receive funding to pursue a new market—the transportation industry—and carve out a new niche by re-engineering replacement parts for railcars, trucks and buses. Traditionally, transportation parts have been composed of metal and fiberglass materials; SAY Plastics is utilizing a new approach—their customized SAYtooling system—to design thermoformed, cost-effective plastic components.
“We salute SAY Plastics for their innovation and vision,” said ACEDC President Robin Fitzpatrick. “SAY Plastics is at the forefront of Adams County’s growing tech and plastics industry, taking advantage of our strategic location along the Mason Dixon Line with easy access to major U.S. markets, as well as our dedicated workforce, and excellent quality of life.”
Ben Franklin’s funding will allow SAY Plastics, founded in 1986, to add several new positions in order to pursue new clients in the transportation and other industries.
“In order for us to acquire new business, we need to find innovative ways to get involved in the marketplace,” said SAY Plastics Vice President and General Manager Ron Staub. “As a result, we have perfected the process of making parts with alternative tooling—converting existing materials to plastics, and Ben Franklin thought it was a viable project.”
“Their investment in the form of a loan without collateral provides a way for SAY Plastics to move into the market faster by expanding our marketing and adding a design engineer to further build our engineering capacity,” Staub said.
BFTP generally funds 30-36 projects annually within the 32-county territory of Central and Northern Pennsylvania. BFTP Director of the South Central Region Richard Heddleson says several factors made SAY Plastics’ application stand out.
“We’re looking to invest in companies that are innovating with technology and will create jobs in Pennsylvania—that’s the common thread. One of the important things about SAY Plastics is the strength of the management team. We felt confident that they would execute on their plan and that a significant number of jobs would be created in Pennsylvania as a result,” said Heddleson.
ACEDC, Gettysburg, PA, is a private, 501 (c)(6) not-for-profit organization incorporated in 1989 as a result of a task force initiated by Adams County business leaders. The corporation is governed by a board of director comprised of many local and regional community leaders from all sectors of industry. ACEDC’s mission is to improve the economy of Adams County while preserving and enhancing the quality of life by formulating, implementing and promoting economic development strategies for sustained investment and employment opportunities in Adams County. For more information, see acedc.org.
BFTP, one of the nation’s longest-running technology-based economic development programs, is an initiative of the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, with four regional headquarters positioned throughout the state. The program’s goal is to accelerate technology development and commercialization in the state of Pennsylvania, and to create high-paying, sustainable jobs for Pennsylvanians. For more information, see cnp.benfranklin.org.