Company bringing 20 jobs to city

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 15, 2004

Suffolk News-Herald

A Pennsylvania firm that custom-builds trucks for companies will be opening its regional operations center in downtown Suffolk by Sept. 1.

During its first year, Reading Equipment & Distribution Inc. will be hiring 20 people to work in its 30,000-square-foot warehouse at Commonwealth Storage Buildings, Moore Avenue. The company, headquartered in Bowmansville, Penn., will be making a $1.5 million investment in the city.

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Company spokesman Paul Leiphart on Wednesday told the Industrial Development Authority that Reading Equipment will build specialty bodies to customer

specifications on truck chassis purchased from Ford and General Motors. Typical customers include utility or heating and air-conditioning businesses.

The distribution center will carry a full inventory of service bodies, truck accessories, dump-truck bodies, lift gates, cranes, air compressors and a full line of replacement parts, Leiphart said. That way, customers can have immediate access to installation and delivery services.

Reading is hoping to double its size within the next three to five years, Leiphart said. The company’s plans to add another 20 people to its payroll and expand into 60,000-square-feet of space during that time.

The company will soon begin hiring its first round of employees, Leiphart said.

&uot;We will need technical people, including electricians, welders and automotive specialists,&uot; said Leiphart. Employees would earn an average of $15 to $16 per hour.

The Suffolk site is the company’s fifth full-service location offering equipment installations to truck dealers, construction and fleet accounts, municipalities, and public utilities.

&uot;In deciding on Suffolk, we considered a number of factors, …including the extremely helpful attitude and sincerity of citizens and municipal authorities and the availability of a talented, skilled workforce,&uot; said

Norman Ziegler, the company’s chief operating officer.

&uot;We also looked at the local placement of a number of support businesses within a small radius of our operation whom we will need to do business with to be successful,&uot; he continued. &uot;We look forward to a long business relationship in the Suffolk community.&uot;

People interested in employment opportunities with the company should call the Virginia Employment Commission at 925-2376 or contact the company’s human resources director Nancy Hiestand via e-mail at