JENKINS TWP. — A regional administrator for the U.S. Small Business Administration wants to tell manufacturers around the country about “Pittston’s best-kept secret.”
That’s how Bill Scott, director of global sales and marketing for Acton Technologies Inc., described his company, which is properly located on Thompson Street in Jenkins Township but has a Pittston address. The company controls 85 percent of the global market share in polymer product etching process it has perfected, and does business as far abroad as Israel, the Czech Republic and South Korea, but remains remains relatively unknown in the immediate area, Scott said.
At a visit and tour of the company’s headquarters Wednesday, U.S. Small Business Administration Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Natalia Olson-Urtecho said she wants that to change.
“I don’t want you to be a secret anymore,” Olson-Urtecho told Scott and other Acton representatives. “I’m actually here to make sure that we talk about your story, and use you as a role model for other companies.”
Founded in 1947, the company etches and makes other surface modifications to product components made of fluropolymers, the most common of which is the Dupont-patented brand Teflon.
“Nothing sticks to Teflon, so in order for it to stick, they come to us,” Scott explained.
Products modified by Acton can be found in Ford and General Motors engines, Airbus airplanes, F-22 fighter jets and bridges around the United States and in the United Arab Emirates. It employs 47 at its Jenkins Township headquarters and about 25 more at facilities in County Limerick, Ireland and Ospitaletto, Italy.
The company is continuing to develop new products through its own in-house lab and through partnerships with universities, especially Lehigh University in Bethlehem, and is actively seeking to expand its export business to other countries.
Assistance provided by SBA regional partner NEPA Alliance in helping company officials pay for trips to a trade show in Paris and a tour of Eastern Europe played a critical role in that expansion, Scott said. The company also received an SBA-backed loan from PNC Bank in 1987.
Olson-Urtecho said the company provides a great example of how exporting and expanding into emerging markets with growing middle classes can help domestic companies grow.
“When we talk about exporting, I just want people to know that it’s not about creating jobs abroad,” Olson-Urtecho said. “It’s about one in every three manufacturing jobs in the U.S. depend(ing) on exporting… Pennsylvania alone has been a great market for exporting.”