Turtle Creek, a town located about 12 miles southeast of Pittsburgh, hasn’t been a hub for energy production since Westinghouse Electric left the area more than three decades ago. But the massive 92-acre industrial site the company left behind, now known as Keystone Commons, houses 20-plus different companies ranging from small startups to global brands. And one of its anchor tenants is growing.
Intervala, a high-tech electronics manufacturing company that serves clients in the industrial, medical and transportation fields, signed a new five-year lease with the Regional Industrial Development Corporation of Southwestern Pennsylvania (RIDC), the nonprofit organization that owns and operates Keystone Commons. Intervala — formerly known as LaBarge — now occupies three floors totaling 135,000 square-feet of space in one of the park’s seven buildings.
Though Intervala has operated in Keystone Commons since 1996, the company’s chief operating officer, Scott Gustafson, says they needed more space for a planned expansion.
“Intervala is growing and we’re hiring to support that growth,” says Gustafson. “Since January 2016, we’ve added about 70 employees. Today, we employ 211 people at our Keystone Commons facility and I expect that number to increase.”
He adds that Intervala is currently working to fill several engineering and mechanical assembler positions.
He also credits RIDC for helping Intervala attract new customers, suppliers and employees by providing a “comfortable, professional environment” in Keystone Commons.
RIDC president Donald Smith believes retaining the company is a testament to his organization’s commitment to boost economic growth in the region. RIDC claims that Keystone Commons currently employs more than 1,000 people, including those at Intervala.
“The opportunity to bring a large, world-class technology manufacturer like Intervala to Keystone Commons and the Turtle Creek and East Pittsburgh neighborhoods is transformative,” says Smith, whose organization acquired the Westinghouse site in 1989 and transformed it into Keystone Commons. “This kind of re-investment in future-oriented jobs is exactly what is needed to restore economic vitality to these former steel and manufacturing towns.”
Like many other economically distressed Rust Belt towns, Turtle Creek and the nearby community of East Pittsburgh have struggled over the last few decades as industry left the region. The plant where Keystone Commons now stands once offered upwards of 20,000 energy jobs before Westinghouse moved operations to Charlotte, NC in the 1980s.
Besides Intervala, Keystone Commons has attracted large-scale companies like Holtec, Brush Generator & Motor Services, NexTech and Taktl, by offering 2.3 million square feet of industrial, warehouse, manufacturing and office space. RIDC has also accommodated tenants by making upgrades to the park, including new windows, parking facilities and other improvements.
“We are working with Intervala to plan future growth and expansion opportunities to keep them growing and help ensure they remain a core employer in the region,” says Smith.