County Employers

"There's a reason so many world-leading manufacturers are located in this county. It's the extraordinary quality of the workforce."

- Joel Cunard, Cell-Con Inc.

Throughout the 1990s, Bedford County underwent a quiet Renaissance, with steadily expanding industries, higher employment and an expanding economy. From 1990 to 1999, the county saw unprecedented gains in total employment, manufacturing, construction and trade. Bedford County's economy led both the state and the country during the 1990s, with healthy gains in total employment, manufacturing, construction and trade. The county' ranked first in the state in the growth of construction employment, third in manufacturing and third among all counties in the state for per-capita job creation between 1990 and 1999. Total employment grew by 33.1 percent, behind two other much smaller counties (Potter and Fulton) and far above the state (8.3 percent) and national (16.9 percent). This gain was led by a 64 percent gain in manufacturing employment and a whopping 173 percent gain in construction employment. During the same period, manufacturing employment shrank in Pennsylvania by 8.8 percent and across the United States by 4.0 percent. Construction employment statewide grew by just 5.6 percent and 19.5 percent across the country.

An economic impact study commissioned by the Bedford County Development Association found that this renaissance was spearheaded by 14 economic development projects facilitated by the Development Association and Bedford County Office of Economic Development.

A look at some of the county's top companies finds a host of world-leaders:

Bedford Materials is the world's number one producer of flexible composites for the electrical industry, and has been designing and manufacturing them longer than anyone in the industry. A broad product line, combined with unique capabilities in treating, coating, impregnating, and slitting, allows Bedford Materials to manufacture flexible composites to meet almost any customer demand.

Bedford Reinforced Plastics Founded in 1974, the company celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2004, and is one of the leading manufacturers of fiberglass reinforced plastics in the world today. Located in Cessna, the company currently employs 135 workers with production, warehouse and office space totaling over 60,000 square feet.

Creative Pultrusions in the Pleasantville Industrial Park is a leading manufacturer of pultruded fiberglass products, including a revolutionary new bridge decking now being tested by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.

Blue Triangle Hardwoods in Everett, a division of Rossi American Hardwoods, is one of the nation's top producers of high-quality hardwoods for export to Europe. Utilizing computer-assisted technology, the mill produces up to 40 million board feet of grade lumber annually.

Blue Triangle Hardwoods in Bedford County

New Enterprise Stone & Lime Co., Inc., is the Mid-Atlantic's leading highway construction company and is the 12th largest in the United States.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc., opened a new 830,000 square-foot food warehouse distribution center north of Bedford in 1998. The center has exceeded initial employment estimates and routinely wins corporate production awards, including the Wal-Mart Grocery Distribution Center of the Year in 2000, 2001 and 2002.

Smith Transport, Inc., opened a 300,000 square-foot warehouse distribution center in 1999 at the site of the old Bedford County Airport north of Bedford. The facility's major client is Westvaco Corporation of New York, which uses the Bedford warehouse as its Mid-Atlantic distribution Center for its paper products.

Corle Building Systems opened a new $8.6 million manufacturing facility near Imler during 1999. The company is a growing manufacturer of high quality custom engineered metal buildings, manufacturing clear span or multiple span buildings of all sizes.

Rex Heat Treat opened a new $4.7 million plant in the Bedford County Business Park during 1999. The family owned company is specialist in the heat-treating of metal for manufacturing.

Rockland Manufacturing has been doing business in Bedford since the early 1970s and is a leading manufacturer of heavy constuction attachments. Rockland is located in a state of the art facility in the Bedford Industrial Park.

Green Garden Inc. located in Bedford Pa., specializes in Injection Molded Products.

Kennametal, Inc. the premier manufacturer of tooling for the Mining, Construction, and Wear Product industries. Located in Bedford, PA, Kennametal is Bedford County's oldest manufacturing facility, having opened its doors on April 7, 1952. Bedford-manufactured products are shipped and sold globally in over 31 different countries. Kennametal ranks #1 in the world in the sale of construction tools, mining tools, and carbide-tipped snowplow blades.

Lampire Biological Laboratories, Inc. Founded in 1977, Lampire Biological Laboratories is an international supplier of antibodies, reagents, animal blood products, and custom antisera production services. Lampire's Pharm Campus is located in Bedford County Pa., and includes 407 acres, with FDA inspected, state-of-the-art animal facilities.

MDL Manufacturing, Inc A leading manufacturer in the areas of high-precision and complex manufacturing. MDL moved their corporate headquarters from Maryland to Bedford County Business Park I in 2005.

Bedford County's Top 20 Employers

Wal-Mart Distribution Center in Bedford County

  1.  730  Wal-Mart Distribution Center
  2.  475  Pennsylvania State Government
  3.  417  New Enterprise Stone & Lime Co.
  4.  400  Kennametal, Inc. 
  5.  338  UPMC Bedford Memorial 
  6.  329  Omni Bedford Springs Resort & Spa
  7.  314  Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI)
  8.  280  Thomas Automotive Family
  9.  280  Bedford Reinforced Plastics 
10.  248  Bedford Area School District
11.  238  Blue Knob All Seasons Resort
12.  214  Bedford County Commissioners
13.  210  Gateway Travel Plaza
14.  203  Chestnut Ridge School District 
15.  176  Everett Area School District
16.  170  Sac, Inc
17.  168  Tussey Mountain School District
18.  158  Wal-Mart Store Associates
19.  149  Northern Bedford Co. School District 
20.  145  Creative Pultrusions
Source: Bedford County Chamber 2011

A listing of the top employers is only part of the picture of the county's expanding economy. Bedford County -- with its historic small towns, lovely viewscapes, variety of recreational opportunities and mountains -- attracts visitors who spend more than $60 million in the county each year. Plus, the county has a strong agricultural base, with farm income of more than $100 million annually.