JERSEY SHORE - In business one must always be ready to react to change and take on new challenges.
Take Jersey Shore Steel.
Like many companies, it anticipated a bump in the road when the economy went bad in 2008.
But Jersey Shore Steel in Avis survived those tough times and is continuing to move forward.
"It's always a challenge," said board of directors chairman Jack Schultz. "That's what keeps you fresh. That's what keeps you excited."
Schultz is part of the Schultz family that has run the steel company since 1938.
His grandfather, John A. Schultz started the business.
The company was later taken over by Jack's father, John Jr. and his brother, Charles Schultz.
Jack's brother, Pete, serves as chief operations manager.
Jack's son, David, is also involved in the family business.
Jersey Shore Steel manufactures high-strength rail steel angles from re-rolled T-rails.
"We offer a quality product," Jack said.
Pete noted that the company turns out a number of products for the furniture industry.
And with the housing industry being less than robust in recent years, that posed a real challenge for the company.
But Jack noted the company actually has come through that downturn rather well.
"We actually beat our sales budget the last few months," he said. "We are actually pretty busy."
Many of the company's customers are in the Midwest, but also in North and South Carolina, where much of the nation's furniture market is located.
Jack said the company is exploring other markets.
"We are looking at alternate raw material resources," he said.
Right now the company works a six-day-a-week, 10 hour shift with employees putting in 40 hours on a rotating schedule.
About 150 people work at the Avis plant and another 100 at the company's fabrication plant in Loyalsock Township, according to Matt Feil, human resources director.
Jersey Shore Steel trains many of its own people.
"We are very pleased with the caliber of people we are able to hire," Feil said.
Many of Jersey Shore Steel's employees have been with the company in excess of 30, even 40 years.
Jack noted that the company is always looking for ways to improve.
He and other officials are proud of the company's efforts to reduce the carbon footprint.
"We are recognized as the greenest steel mill in the world," Jack said.
Methane gas from the nearby Wayne Township landfill is captured and used to reheat the recycled steel in the plant's manufacturing operation.
By using the gas, generated by decomposing waste, the steel plant alleviates air pollution and local safety hazards.
Landfill gas is 50 percent methane, a potent greenhouse gas, and a source of smog and odor problems.
"It allows us to heat steel more efficiently," Jack said.
The alternative energy source helps reduce air pollution, minimizes the risks of possible gas explosions, and taps into an otherwise wasted source of usable energy.
"It's a true win-win situation," Jack said.