BROOKVILLE — A new dealership and trucking center will be opening in Brookville by late September or early October and is bringing 12-14 service technician jobs to the area.
Legacy Trucking Center Inc. bought the property where the Day’s Inn had once been located, near Interstate 80, in the spring of 2017. Construction began in December of 2017 and despite some slowdowns, the project is right on schedule. Paving is expected to begin this week on the site.
As a dealership, Legacy Trucking Center, Inc., will have the three areas dealships have – sales, parts and service. “We’re going to have truck sales here. We’re going to have a significant amount of inventory. We’re going to have over the road trucks, locational trucks – you name it we’re going to have it here,” said Operations Manager Brent Woodrow, of the Brookville site.
The location is also ideal because of the exposure it will bring, he said.
“We’re sitting right here on the interstate, which has so much thru traffic on it, it is the short cut, the corridor between Chicago and New York City, which there is a lot of truck traffic between the two. This is about the halfway point. So we’re really excited to be able to offer this to our customers, to offer the service here, our Mack and Volvo products.”
Along with the interstate, the site also gives access to other major routes – 322, 36 and 28.
The Brookville site will be incorporated with seven other parts and service Legacy Truck Centers Inc. locations. The Brookville site will take over the central parts distribution so “we’re going to move our warehouse here that’s going to distribute to the other locations,” said Mitch Boyer, Parts manager. “We are the largest Mac/Volvo dealer group in the state – Legacy Trucks Mac/Volvo.”
Not only will the space at the Brookville site allow for the storage of parts but will allow for the expansion of the product line. The parts storage area is twice the size of the current warehouse in Erie and includes an upper mezane as well as the main floor space that has two dock areas nearby where trucks can be loaded and unloaded as parts are moved.
In five years Woodrow says he sees the facility as double in size and double the employees. His vision goes along with that of the company as it kept expanding the size of the Brookville site from its original 35,000 square feet to its current 55,000 square feet.
The enormous buidling is “latest and greatest and there was no expense spared” in its construction, Woodrow noted.
When finished the Brookville site will have a show room with a truck on display, a parts department and a repair shop, with 21 bays. Through seven doors, they will be able to bring trucks into the shop and work on them three-trucks deep. Of those bays, 19 will be for repair work. There is also a steam bay as well as a wash bay for washing and detailing trucks.
He also pointed out a 10-ton crane that runs on a trolly system along I-beams the entire length of the shop area and within the crane itself, it can move down the length of each of the bays. Thus allowing the crane to be a valuable tool along each foot of the shop area. The crane will allow the techs to lift engines, truck bodies, cabs, whatever is needed, Woodrow said.
Another unique aspect to the building that he pointed out was the infloor heating of the cement pads leading into the bay area in the shop, the shop floor and of all the concrete surrounding the building.
Their local customer base goes from Brookville west to the Ohio state line, east to the Woodland exit on I80, and north to the New York line, except for Warren and Tionesta counties, which are in Erie’s territory. Woodrow says they are looking to draw customers from “coast to coast and border to border. This Interstate 80 as far as truck traffic goes is probably one of the busiest interstates in the whole country. We’re here to capitalize on it. We’re here to offer our customers our services.”
He noted that working with the Jefferson County Development Council on the facility has been a great partnership. “They’ve just been great,” he said.
Legacy Trucking has also partnered with the Jefferson County – DuBois Vocational Technical School in Reynoldsville.
“We’re heavily involved with that. They just finished up their first year with their deisel technology program which had a great, great student turnout. It’s their first year so it really hasn’t had the opportunity to bare any fruit for us but it will. The nice thing about it is – it’s just right down the road. It’s in Jefferson County and it’s getting a lot of interest from the Brookville students, Punxsutawney and DuBois and so forth (and Brockway).
“So that’s going to be our next go-to resource,” Woodrow said. Currently, “we do have a student from there on our co-op program. He’s entering his senior year. We’re please with the fact that as soon as he graduates high school he’ll have a full-time position with health care benefits.”
Woodrow said they are working closely with Jeff Tech and hoped to have another co-op student in by January of next year. “I always want a co-op student from that program on the floor here.”
With the project moving along, they plan to begin moving inventory from the current DuBois and Shippenville locations in late September or early October. Boyer noted, that they have about $600,000 of inventory to move to the new location. Woodrow, Boyer and Michael Sprague have a plan for moving eveything seamlessly and getting it set up in Brookville.
With the building on schedule for completion and plans in place to get moved in, there is another area that Woodrow is focusing on prior to the opening.
“One of the biggest challenges that we have is we need staffing,” he said.
Currently there are two smaller Legacy Truck Centers in the area – one in DuBois and one in Shippenville. Those centers will close and everything will be moved to the Brookville location.
While staff at those sites are being encouraged to come to the new location, Brookville is not convenient for everyone, he noted. For some the added travel time from their home doesn’t make it feasible. Woodrow noted that in DuBois a worker left because to work in Brookville would mean a 100 miles round trip each day.
He said they are in need of service technicians. “I would hire right now anywhere between 12 and 14 technicians immediately today if I could. These are career positions. It’s just a really great opportunity.”
He said they hope to hire enough staff to run two shifts – a day shift and a night shift. This will allow their customers to have access to parts after 5 p.m. or for truckers traveling at night who may break down a place for their truck to be serviced.
Customer service, Woodrow said, is what Legacy Trucking Inc. is built on. He noted that the managers all have cell phones and have provided after hours service to local customers when needed. With the new location, instead of a manager getting a phone call, the facility will be able to get that after hours call and be able to help the customer even quicker.
A career fair has been scheduled for Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Gold Eagle Conference Center, which is the former Cen-Clear Building at 275 W. Main Street. “We’re giving people the chance to come in and get to know us. If someone can’t make it they can go onto the Legacy website for to fill out an online application,” Woodrow said.
“Ride our wave with us. Grow with us. They had growth in mind when they built this place,” Woodrow said in a message to potential new hires.
ST. MARYS — Straub Brewery’s new Visitor Center and Tap Room has been drawing in locals and eternal-tap tourists since its soft opening June 19.
The Visitor Center and Tap Room at 444 Brusselles St. is located just below Straub Brewery on Sorg Street, and held its all-day grand opening and ribbon cutting July 19.
The 100-plus-year-old brick house, originally built by Straub brothers Anthony and Joseph, extends into the garage, now the bar area, said Vice President of Sales and Marketing Cathy Lenze.
Straub Brewery President and Chief Executive Officer William (Bill) Brock said he has watched the beer industry change a lot over the years. With the influx of visitors in the Pennsylvania Wilds, a sit-down location like this was necessary.
The tap room is also a way to connect people to the brewery and offer tours of the eternal tap and production process, Brock said.
The facility is “open and welcoming,” Brock said, with an outdoor beer garden and inside bar area and visitor center.
In order to make the brewery and tap room like a “campus,” Brock said, they purchased many of the homes around it.
“We want to continue to develop the campus,” he said. “It’s a way to see the area and we’re proud of it. We are trying to improve the quality of life here.”
After moving around a lot, Brock made the decision to return to his hometown of St. Marys after 25 years, he said.
The concept for the tap room originated five years ago, Brock said. What is now the bar was once a garage and his great uncle’s shop.
Brock said it was exciting to see how many people of a variety of ages attended the grand opening.
The visitor center part of the venue includes historical photos of Straub founders and family members, as well as products like Staub memorabilia, grilling sauces and books. The venue exhibits rustic woodwork with modern additions.
Food-wise, the tap rooms started with appetizers and lunches, and is now starting to roll out a dinner menu, Brock said. All the food is locally-sourced, and Bradd Celidonia is the head chef.
The goal is to promote not just St. Marys, but the region as a whole, connecting the dots to other local places, he said.
“We are local and we love local support,” Brock said. “You don’t have to leave the region for these things.”
Even the production of the new tap room used local contractors and wood from Straub Bear Run.
Future plans for the campus include a pet-friendly area with a 20-by-40-foot canopy in the grassy area, as well as a gas fire pit for gatherings, Lenze said. Music festivals and other events will be held in the future.
Additions to the new tap room will be a “step-by-step” process, Brock said, after receiving feedback from customers and seeing what they respond to.
For more information, visit www.straubbeer.com or the tap room on Facebook.
CLARION — The Clarion County Garden Club is celebrating its 90th anniversary this year by holding its first flower show in many years next Saturday, Aug. 17.
“This is our celebration,” said Lee Ann Ishman, of New Bethlehem, president of the countywide garden group.
To mark 90 years since the group was founded in 1929 by Hannah Fox and other garden lovers from across the county, Ishman said today’s 63-member group wanted to go back to its roots and hold a flower show.
“We haven’t had a show in more than 20 years,” she said, noting that many of today’s members haven’t experienced a show. “This is new for a lot of us.”
The theme this year is “Down on the Farm.”
The Clarion County Garden Club is made up of nine chapters from communities across the county, including those in Clarion, New Bethlehem, Clarion-Limestone, East Brady, Foxburg/St. Petersburg, Fryburg, Knox, Shippenville/Marianne and Sligo. It is a member of the National Garden Club.
The club’s National Garden Club Small Standard Flower Show will take place from 1:15 to 4:15 p.m. on Aug. 17 at the Trinity Point Church of God off Route 68, south of the Clarion Interstate 80 Exit 62.
Ishman said that since the club has not held a show in many years, it wanted to limit this show to featuring entries from only club members, who have been encouraged to submit at least one specimen apiece.
Entries will be judged in three divisions, Horticulture, Design and Education. Appointed judges from the Garden Club Federation will be on hand to judge the entries.
The Horticulture division is broken down into numerous categories of flowers, herbs, vegetables and more.
Ishman said the Design category will have three classes, with Ring The Bell featuring table designs, Grandma’s Treasures featuring petite designs and Square Dance featuring the use of a square frame.
In the Education division, Ishman said there will be two exhibits, one on the spotted lantern fly and a second on Pennsylvania gardening with native plants.
The flower show will also trace the roots of the club’s nine decades. A display by club historian Madelyn Sherman will showcase photos and information about each decade of the club’s history, Ishman said.
The public is invited to attend the free flower show, Ishman said, noting that cake and punch will also be offered in celebration of the group’s anniversary. Information on joining the Clarion County Garden Club will also be available at the show.
CLEARFIELD — For Assistant Chief Nathan Curry, being a police officer is more than a job and he had to overcome many obstacles to become one.
As a child Curry wasn’t expected to live to adulthood, but he beat the odds and was recently promoted as assistant chief of police of the Clearfield Borough Police Department.
Curry said he was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at the age of 2 and his doctors said he likely wouldn’t live long enough to reach school age. Once he reached school age, his doctors didn’t think he would live to reach adulthood. But once again he beat the odds.
When asked how he was able to get through it Curry said, “Modern medicine and modern technology. I also believe in God and that he looks out for us.”
Growing up with the disease wasn’t easy. He said he was always an active child, despite the illness, but there was a lot of medications he had to take and he had to spend a lot of time doing things to keep himself healthy.
When he got to middle school he wanted to be like all the other children and was embarrassed about going to the school nurse to get his medications. He didn’t do everything he needed to do and ran into problems. However, he said he soon realized his friends didn’t hold his illness and his treatments against him and continued to be his friends.
Living with the disease and having a normal healthy life takes a lot of work. Because of the adversity he faced, Curry said he appreciates every day and he can look back and take pride in how far he has come.
Plus he said it has helped him be a better police officer because he realizes that one can do anything they put their mind to.
He will often tell this to people who get into trouble with the law – that their life isn’t over, and this is just one chapter in a book.
“We will tell them whatever happened today, that was in the past, that’s done, but you can be whoever you want to be, you just have to put your mind to it and give it all you got,” Curry said.
Curry is the son of Barry and Pam Curry, of Curwensville. He graduated from Curwensville Area High School in 2000. He then went onto Lock Haven University where he received his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice in 2004. Following graduation he went onto Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s police academy and after graduation he was hired by the Clearfield Borough Police Department in May of 2005.
Curry said he didn’t always want to be a police officer. Originally he went to college to be a secondary school teacher but switched to criminal justice once in college. However, he was concerned his father would worry about him choosing such a dangerous profession so he didn’t tell him right away.
“My dad didn’t find out that I switched to law enforcement until graduation day,” Curry said.
But Curry said police work is something he wanted to do.
“I know it sounds cliche but I wanted to make a difference, I wanted to help people,” he said. “If I can make a difference in one person’s life then it’s all worth it.”
Curry said he loves his job and all its many facets. As a police officer he has been with babies when they take their first breath as well as when people take their last.
“It gives you a different perspective on life,” Curry said.
He said police work can be difficult and police officers have to wear many different hats – sometimes they have to act as a parent, a therapist, a preacher or an enforcer.
“Sometimes you will arrest someone and be the enforcer, and the next call you have to be a dad to a child who is having problems, who never had a dad in their life. Or you will be consoling a mother who just lost a child,” Curry said.
Now that he is assistant chief, Curry has more administrative duties but he doesn’t spend all his time behind a desk. He said it is important for police officers to be out and visible in the community, and to treat people with respect and be honest and ethical. Police officers also have to act as as professionals, be dressed neatly, and their vehicles should be clean.
Curry said this is important because police officers are here to serve the public and without the public’s support there would be no police department.
He said if there is one thing he is most proud about the police department is the commitment the police officers have to the community and to each other.
“They make sure that if you need the police, the police will be there,” Curry said. “We really do have a great group of people here.”
Curry said when he was hired the police department had 16 police officers, now it is down to 11 and Curry said the police department is busier now than it has been in his entire 14-year career so they have to do more with less.
“This is a big sacrifice these officers are making to make sure this community is covered,” Curry said.
For example he said there will be times when a police officer is getting ready to sit down for dinner with their family when they get called out to cover a shift.
“They are not doing it for the money, they are doing it because they took an oath to protect the community and to protect each other,” Curry said.
But on a human side, Curry said police officers are people just like the rest of us.
“We are no different than anyone else out here and we should not be acting like we are,” Curry said.
But police work is difficult and sometimes there are extremely bad days and and like all first responders their schedules are often unpredictable.
Curry said he is fortunate, his wife Julie Curry is a sergeant in the Lawrence Township Police Department. He said their schedules often conflict and their dinners often get cold on the table, and they miss many family functions and holidays but because she is a police officer too she understands the sacrifices they make because she makes them herself.
Curry said he has no plans to leave the Clearfield Borough Police Department.
“As long as my health holds up and the good Lord keeps me, I will be here,” Curry said.
He said he appreciates what the community, the police department and administration have done for him over the years.
“I can’t pay back what they’ve done for me here,” Curry said. “But the least I can do is do my job and give them 110 percent.”