May 6, 2015 by Douglas Burns
Scranton Manufacturing, a family-owned business formed with farm boy pluck that’s growing with increasingly strong international reach, should “easily double” its local workforce in the next decade, company president Michael McLaughlin said.
McLaughlin led U.S. Rep. Steve King, R-Kiron, on an hour-long tour and presentation at the Scranton refuse-truck plant Tuesday afternoon.
“You’ve got a lot more going on here than I realized,” King said.
With a $12 million annual payroll, the company employs 220 people in Scranton, 40 in Carroll and 40 in Lake City. The company is completing a 56,000-square-foot addition in Scranton that will allow it to add production and fabrication capabilities on its 25-acre footprint in that western Greene County city. McLaughlin said physical and workforce expansions are expected in Carroll and Lake City.
Scranton Manufacturing expects to hire more welders, painters, fabricators, electrical technicians and engineers.
The company started in 1971 when company founder and CEO John McLaughlin and his brother and friend began repairing farm equipment in a building on Main Street in Scranton.
When the farm crisis hit in the early 1980s, Scranton Manufacturing purchased Des Moines-based garbage-truck manufacturer New Way and moved its operations to Scranton. The New Way brand now boasts international cache.
“The ’80s were so tough on agriculture that I focused on manufacturing,” John McLaughlin said.
Under Scranton Manufacturing’s leadership, the New Way Co. sells throughout the United States, Mexico, China, South America, Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Taiwan, Philippines and Europe.
The company, the third-largest of its type in the industry and the most muscular such family-owned operation, has a joint venture in Mexico. The African continent factors in future plans as well, said Michael McLaughlin.
Scranton Manufacturing produces about 1,000 refuse-trucks annually, but the figure is expected to increase, Michael McLaughlin said.
He also told King about the growth in environmentally friendly trucks, ones that are hybrid or can separate organic products that can be used for biofuels or other recycled purposes.
Manufacturing takes the American economy to a higher level, King said.
“The manufacturing that’s here then concentrates that wealth here, attracts it, brings it here, and when you export that product, it’s a finished product that goes to anyplace in America or really many places in the world,” King said. “So it brings that wealth back here, and of course, that’s where the jobs are. People follow money. That keeps people here, the best place in the world to live and raise a family.”
Scranton Manufacturing is three-generation family business as Michael’s son Johnathon is executive vice president.
Courtesy of Douglas Burns, the Daily Times Herald 5/6/15 and the Jefferson Herald 5/7/15.