Press-Republican

April 9, 2013

Pre-Tech suggests Moriah Business Park expansion

LOHR McKINSTRY
Press-Republican

MINEVILLE — Essex County should consider expanding the Moriah Business Park, a representative of one of the firms located there told county lawmakers recently.

Essex County was honoring Pre-Tech Precision Machining of the Moriah Business Park in Mineville for its recent achievement of AS9100C high-quality certification when Pre-Tech Manager James Kahler made the suggestion.

Kahler accepted the award from Supervisor Thomas Scozzafava (R-Moriah) and Vice Chair William Ferebee (R-Keene), who were representing the Essex County Board of Supervisors.

“I think it would be beneficial if you thought of maybe putting another building in (Moriah Business Park) and getting some more business in there,” Kahler said.

”I think that there are enough people in this area to fill the voids of (a new building), so I would say that the area does have the people here to create a business like that. I do believe that that is something that you really should think about — another building in that area.”

LONGTIME TENANTS

Pre-Tech currently leases most of the original spec building constructed when the park opened in the late 1980s.

“It’s been an honor to be in the Moriah Business Park for 15 years,” Kahler said. “Hopefully, we’ll be there 15 or 20 more or even longer.”

Pre-Tech has no expansion plans of its own at present, he said.

MOVE CAREFULLY

Supervisor Gerald Morrow (D-Chesterfield) said the IDA has been looking at either building a new structure or expansion of the existing building in the Business Park.

“There is growth (to justify it). But we have to walk carefully. The county got into trouble for building a spec building. We are looking at (construction), taking it seriously.”

Morrow said the IDA used state grant money to construct the spec building, which was only for an already-leased building, not one with no tenants in it. Pre-Tech signed up later, and everything worked out, Morrow said, but they want to be careful all the rules are followed if grant funding is used again.

Financing would have to be secured for a new building, and all necessary permits obtained before the county could proceed with the concept, he said, a process that would take at least a couple years.

“I think it would be beneficial,” Kahler said.

HIGH STANDARDS

The certification Pre-Tech was applauded for, AS9100C, the Aerospace and Defense Quality Management System International Standard, is a quality-management system that encompasses facilities, workers, training, equipment and services.

Pre-Tech makes precision parts for the aerospace and bio-medical industries, and an AS9100C seal means Pre-Tech is favored by many companies when contracts are awarded.

The firm employs about 22 people in Moriah and has another location in Williston, Vt.

TRAINING NEEDED

Kahler said he’d like to see the BOCES Yandon-Dillon Educational Center across the street from Pre-Tech provide another training course for Pre-Tech, similar to one that was offered several years ago.

“It (the program) probably should start up again. It was very beneficial to us. Without having that there, it’s difficult for applicants to have the credentials we need: mathematics, AutoCAD, hands-on machine work that was offered at BOCES.”

RENEWED INTEREST

Kahler said a February article on Pre-Tech in the Press-Republican resulted in a flurry of applicants for jobs.

“We’ve got so many people coming in that we actually have people with credentials applying.”

Scozzafava said he has met with with representatives of both BOCES and North Country Community College about a training program for Pre-Tech, but neither has committed to one at present.

“It would be great to have that (training) start up again,” he said. “It’s (Pre-Tech) a good success story for the county, the IDA. The Industrial Development Agency owns the building and leases it back to Pre-Tech.”

“It’s great that you’re there,” Scozzafava told Kahler. “It’s great for our community and the county as well.”

Email Lohr McKinstry:lmckinstry@pressrepublican.com