Gas companies from around the nation have come for the Marcellus Shale, but area businesses also have profited this year.
One example of the ancillary growth, Jody Rogers, partner of Rogers Uniforms with his mother, Margie, noticed a change in the business at the beginning of the year. He said he stocks the store with what customers want, and just having one worker from the gas industry was not enough to start stocking their uniforms.
Now he stocks Fire Resistant (FR) clothing: shirts, pants, coveralls, gloves and more, because of the needs of the gas industry.
CRAIG S. McKIBBEN JR./Sun-Gazette
Jody and mother Margie Rogers, co-owners of Roger's Uniforms hold Tecgene shirts Thursday in their store. According to Jody, their business is up 40 percent year on year, largely on the strength of fire retardant clothing required by the natural gas industry.
"At this point, with nothing at the beginning of the year, (gas industry clothes are) 25 percent of the business, just in a short time," Rogers said. "I predict it will double next year to 40 to 50 percent of the business."
Growth of the business has meant increases in staff and changes in the way the business is run, Rogers said.
"We can absorb 5 to 7 percent of growth, or in a bad economy, go down 5 percent, but we're up 40 percent this year," Rogers said. "It's challenging running a small family business, trying to make sure you keep a family attitude, but operate like a big business."
When the business began in 1999, Rogers said it focused 75 to 80 percent on public safety, such as police officers, firefighters, and sheriffs.
Now the focus is on the gas industry because even companies who visit gas drilling sites, such as fencing or water hauling companies, need the fire resistant clothing.
Rogers also noticed that the gas industry growth is more than just employees working with Marcellus Shale.
He said with the opening of Cracker Barrel and older restaurants hiring more employees, he is selling more clothing for chefs and wait staff.