As residential engineering and consulting decreased because of the economy, a business headquartered in Lancaster opened a branch in Williamsport to take advantage of the Marcellus Shale gas industry.
"Residential hit the skids as natural gas came into play," BJ Batterson, project manager for land development of RETTEW, said. "Residential still hasn't picked up."
RETTEW, 130 Court St., Suite 200, is a company that focuses on municipality engineering, wastewater engineering, transportation, environmental permitting, geology and surveying, Laura L. Templeton, regional manager and principal, said.
Jason Bukeavich, a geologist with RETTEW, looks at a geological map of Pennsylvania.
Each category is used in the energy industry, particularly the gas industry, but also wind, solar and other renewable energy industries.
The company assists clients with a full gamut of surveying, environmental and water resources permitting, water management planning, environmental engineering, transportation permitting and engineering, local government coordination, site design, public relations assistance and overall program management solutions.
"Marcellus Shale is definitely the biggest thing we do," Templeton said.
In the future, she sees residential and commercial engineering becoming a bigger part of the office, as the economy improves.
Starting business in the gas industry was a bit of a risk, Templeton said, but it paid off.
"We were one of the first to invest heavily in Marcellus Shale," she said. "We really have been able to do a huge chunk (of the gas industry business)."
Since the business began in March 2010, it outgrew two offices with the number of employees it kept hiring. It started with three employees at its first office. By its second move, the company started with 10 employees and grew to 25 employees.
"We had too many employees for that location," Templeton said. "We did not expect to outgrow that office that quickly."
The office moved to its newest location on Sept.
"We probably added about a dozen (employees) since we opened this office," she said.
About one-third of the employees are Lycoming County residents, she said. By opening an office in Williamsport, some people who originally lived in the area could return to it since work was available.
Templeton said the office is looking to hire 25 more people by the end of the year.
Most of the work done in the office is related to the gas industry, but the company did work in the area before opening an office here. Some of the projects included developing a new zoning ordinance with building and development design compatibility standards that support quality infill, replacement and redevelopment, and working with the Montoursville water system five years ago.
One of the company's key values is a family atmosphere, which works well with the area, Templeton said.
"It fits great in this community," she said. "It's very oriented toward family."
The company is like the area, since they both recently received so much growth, Templeton said.
"As quickly as Marcellus Shale took off, ... we mirror that," she said. She did the math of the office's growth and measured it between 1,400 to 1,500 percent. "I understand the growth pressure. The company doubled in size in the last year. It's great to have success. You have to manage growth."
RETTEW has 10 different offices in Pennsylvania, Ohio and New York.