Born from circumstances that could herald a paradigm shift in employee/owner relations as America retools its manufacturing industry, TCIMobility is opened a new facility in March that will bring up to 25 high-paying jobs to Gilbert.
TCI Mobility, previously only a Florida-based distributor of mobility vans for the medical transport, hotel and airport shuttle, and adult daycare industries, will open a manufacturing division located solely in the new Gilbert, PA facility.
The facility currently has eight full time employees and expects that number to ramp up to about 20 by summer’s end with wages that will range as high as $50,000 per year.
“We are thrilled to welcome TCI Mobility to Monroe County,” says Pocono Mountains Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Chuck Leonard.
“This is a great feel good story for Monroe County’s workforce. These local people had lost their jobs in Bethlehem. Now, not only do they have a great paying jobs, but they’re actually working closer to home. You really have to tip your cap to Scott Weinstein and Steve Hoffman at TCI Mobility for the opportunity and respect they’ve given their team.”
Weinstein and Hoffman hadn’t planned on getting into the manufacturing business, but they turned a daunting business obstacle into a huge business opportunity, with the help of their new employees.
“Just five months before this happened, Steve and I talked and decided not to get into manufacturing,” says Weinstein. “We decided that we didn’t have the expertise.”
Then, TCI’s long-time supplier sold their business – and their Bethlehem, PA manufacturing facility – to another company and closed the Bethlehem plant, leaving Hoffman and Weinstein to ponder their options.
“Imagine coming into the office one day and finding out that your primary supplier has decided to close their doors, “says Hoffman. “We had to start gearing up for what was probably going to be a one-supplier solution.”
That’s when fate stepped in. The plant closing in Bethlehem had left a couple of dozen people out of work, many from the West End. Pete Klenke, a Brodheadsville resident who managed the shuttered plant, contacted Weinstein and Hoffman, his former clients, and asked if they had ever considered the manufacturing business.
“It was a stroke of good fortune,” says Weinstein. “Our distribution business had been growing so fast that this was the logical next step. We just needed the right talent. Then suddenly these people, who are really the best at what they do, were available.”
“Once we had the right cogs in place, it changed our whole perspective. It was an easy decision.”
Hoffman and Weinstein say they never considered anything other than a Pennsylvania location for their new venture.
“We have to be here, because difference in the work ethic and employee commitment is just extraordinary,” says Weinstein, adding that the region’s proximity to major interstate highways will be an asset to TCI as it builds its own distribution network.
“Our goal is to be the most customer-centric mobility van supplier in the country,” says Hoffman. “We want to give our customers exactly what they need, especially when it comes to vehicles for people with disabilities, because in those cases what we do has a direct impact on their quality of life.”
“We owe it to them to provide the best.”