Last updated: July 24. 2013 2:41PM - 748 Views

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Frank Lewis

PDT Staff Writer

Jackson County business and community leader Alan Stockmeister is bringing a new industry and new jobs to Pike County with the addition of Echo Environmental at the Zahn’s Corner Industrial Park.

“I am honored to be in front of you today to talk about what we’re here for,” Stockmeister said. “This directly affects me because I’m a son of Appalachia and I’m a businessman from Appalachia.”

Stockmeister looked around him and said, “What’s a million square feet look like?” much to the delight of dignitaries present at the announcement.

Stockmeister went through the long line of business ventures his family has been involved in for decades. Stockmeister said the metals business his family has established in Jackson County, and will now extend into Pike County, has become, “near and dear to me.” He said it is his hope that the establishment of the facility at Zahn’s Corner will drive more industry into Ohio.

“We’ve grown that business to become the largest gold and silver recycler in North America,” Bill Leroy, administrator for Stockmeister, said. “We’re not finished yet. We continue to invest in the Jackson facility to the tune of about $5 million a year in capital expenditures and we will continue to grow that business going forward. We’ve kind of stepped up now and made an even bigger investment, and we think that with the same kind of hard work and the same kind of effort from everybody involved, 10 years from now, we’ll be the largest recycler of electronics.”

“We’re going to process end-of-life electronics, and we’re going to recover copper, be a copper recycler,” Mike Hyman, of Echo Environmental said.

Hyman said the new operation has laid out its plan in three phases over the next ten years.

“On a daily basis here in Waverly, we’re going to take in multiple truckloads of obsolete end-of-life electronics including circuit boards and other discarded electronics,” Hyman said. “So the first phase of the project is to shred them. While we are shredding them, we will attempt to determine their value, and then we’re going to co-mingle the material after we have shredded it into similar materials.”

During the first phase, the company will sell the concentrations. Hyman said that model would continue for the next couple of years, while they erect “an internationally recognized copper smelting facility, the only one of its kind in the United States,” Hyman said.

Hyman said, during the first year, 12 full-time positions will be created not including local security, and 10 to 20 local service providers such as electricians and mechanical fabricators. By 2015, the company will add 100 full-time jobs which Hyman says will cover the complete spectrum of positions within the industry.

“The final phases will include a self-sufficient laboratory and a copper refinery, and they are scheduled for completion in five to 10 years, ultimately utilizing every square foot under roof, creating possibly up to 500 jobs,” Hyman said.

Hyman said the first year, the annual payroll will be approximately $600,000, and ultimately $5 million in salaries by the fifth year.

“In the fifth year, $5 million in payroll, congratulations Pike County,” State Representative Cliff Rosenberger said. “And thank you to Alan Stockmeister and his vision.”

Speakers at the event shared a theme: Jobs.

“This is exciting that we’re going to grow jobs here, this company specifically will bring well-paying jobs,” State Senator Bob Peterson said. “It’s part of the growth we all hope is going to happen in a bigger way here in Pike County.”

Rosenberger said the federal government could learn how to make things happen by watching the Ohio Legislature.

“This speaks very highly of what we can do here in Pike County and Ohio,” Rosenberger said. “It took two weeks for the Legislature to take action. I think we can teach Washington a thing or two about how to get things moving.”

Ohio Governor John Kasich spoke last and talked about the need to grow jobs in southern Ohio.

“And for all of you, I just want you to know one thing. I want you to think about me, not because I’m governor, I’m your friend,” Kasich said. “I am your friend and I am committed to you. I am committed to doing what I can to make sure that this part of Ohio really begins to flourish. And my focus is not just on you, but my focus really are on the children who can inherit a great part of our state with great values. And we want them to live in a part of the state where it’s strong, it maintains those good values that we can beat down the demons of drugs, and give our kids a chance to carry on for all of us in the next generation or two.”

Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 252, or at flewis@civitasmedia.com. For breaking news, follow Frank on Twitter @FrankLewisPDT.

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