The Marcellus Shale boom has brought many things to the area, and for one local man the boom has opened up the opportunity to remain close to home and start his own pipeline contracting business.
Two years ago Bill Emick started Appellation Pre-Fab, headquartered at 620 Fairfield Road in Montoursville, with just five employees.
Now the company, which works with gas companies to install pipelines as a part of the midstream and compression operations of the industry, has a second location in Williamsport, employs 144 people and is on track to complete more than $20 million in work this year.
Emick, who has decades of experience in the industry and often had to travel out of state to work, said it "made perfect sense" to start his own business when the industry came to the area.
"We're individuals who were in the gas and oil industry long before it came to Pennsylvania. It gives us a big advantage," Emick said. "Even though it's new to the Williamsport area, it's not new to us. We've been doing this a long time."
The company, which is a union contractor, offers a variety of services to the larger gas companies with a commitment to honest and quality work. Among the services Appellation offers are fabrication, hauling, installation, repair, sandblasting and testing.
Emick said the company operates with a high-level of quality control with a repair rate of 1/2 percent in its two years in operation. Being located in his hometown also helps the company place an emphasis on quality and safety, he said.
"This is my backyard," Emick said. "We're going to take care of the environment that's here and do a good job."
In addition to striving to protect his backyard, the Proctor native said he wants to do his part to stimulate the local economy by employing, training and helping local people join the unions involved in the industry.
"Williamsport was dead. Everybody I went to college with is gone because there was nothing here," Emick said. "Now Williamsport is the hub of this industry in Northeast Pa. In 10 years, Williamsport will look like Houston."
Emick's commitment to hiring local people not only is driven by a desire to stimulate Williamsport's economy, but also to give his employees the chance to develop a lifetime skill and support their families with good-paying jobs.
He said the industry is a demanding line of work that requires a lots of skill and dedication, but it also offers the chance to make a good living with necessarily attending college.
"These are jobs you can support a family with," Emick said. "As we grow, we can train more local individuals."
For more information about Appellation Pre-Fab visit the company's website, www.appellationprefab.com or call 601-4765.