The Marcellus and Utica shale industry is breathing life into an 80,000-square-foot building not used since the former Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel Corp. closed it in 1983. Now 25 workers are using the space to inspect and repair metal tubes used to drill oil and natural gas wells.
Chris Harris, partner with Dunbar, Pa.-based JLE Industries, said his company chose the Benwood property because of its central location in the heart of the Marcellus and Utica region. He and his employees got into a little bit more work than they originally envisioned, however.
“The building had not been in a functional use for 30 years. We had to pressure wash the floor 10 times and sandblast it twice,” he said. “The electrical system was from the 1950s or before. We had to totally redo that.”
Now, with fully refurbished overhead cranes and spray foam insulation installed along the walls, the interior of the building looks fresh and new. Harris and his team also installed new concrete slabs for their equipment.
Harris said his company does not own the building, but has a “long-term lease” on it with Mull Group Inc. Although he declined to specify salary levels for employees, Harris said the 25 jobs pay “middle-class wages.”Read the rest of this article by clicking here.
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