The Stahl family established Bedford Reinforced Plastics in 1974, originally operating out of a small barn with three pultrusion machines and about a dozen employees.
The company now employs 215 workers and operates its own shipping and logistics company, called Reinforced Logistics.
BRP specializes in custom-designed lightweight fiberglass reinforced plastic products that are corrosion resistant, fire retardant, and have low conductivity, making them useful in industrial manufacturing settings and for surfaces that improve pedestrian safety in harsh weather conditions.
Greg Hauck serves as Controller for Bedford Reinforced Plastics.
Q: Your company started its own logistics not long ago. Why did you decide that was necessary?
Hauck: In the freight world, it has become very hard to get trucks, trailers and drivers. We’re able to help clients achieve their goals because we are a dependable carrier with our own trucks and drivers now.
Q: How is that working out?
Hauck: We just expanded our fleet. We have added two full-sized cold storage tractor-trailers for produce transport. On the brokerage side, we’ve also hired more brokers to help move freight. Our fleet is up to seven vehicles now: the two full-sized tractor-trailers, and five Expeditor-Hotshots, which are Ford F-350 dualies with gooseneck tow hitches.
Q: Did you experience a boomerang effect?
Hauck: I earned a bachelor’s degree from Shippensburg University and worked for a freight company in the Mechanicsburg area for about a year and a half. I always thought about coming back, but when I was growing up, I was told there are no good jobs in this area, you’ve got to get a good education and move out of the area to get worthwhile pay.
Q: Why did you come back?
Hauck: I used to work for a small family-owned blackberry farm here and I was invited to come back to work for them. When I returned, I realized there were actually a lot of opportunities in this area that are taken for granted.
Q: What kind of opportunity did you find here?
Hauck: We have a lot of good manufacturers and services in this area that are paying decent wages that get overlooked. A lot of higher-level management people in this area are also starting to retire now, so there are many management level positions that are opening in this area. There is a lot that this county has to offer. That’s one reason I came back, and I tell people looking for employment that there are a lot of big companies here: REI, Walmart, Bedford Reinforced Plastics, Rockland, to name just a few, and people don’t realize they are offering good wages.
Q: What does the area offer you when you’re not working?
Hauck: There’s so much to do outdoors in Bedford County. I hunt and fish, that’s one of the biggest reasons I enjoy this area so much, lots of outdoor activities. One of my hobbies is construction. I love to work on houses, and I actually flipped a house I bought to work on. There are a ton of old houses in this area, so there are a lot of opportunities to do that sort of thing.
Q: Is there anything that has helped Bedford Reinforced Plastics find success here?
Hauck: One of the biggest key factors is that the employees we hire are lifelong employees. They’re looking for a stable career, not one or two years before moving on somewhere else. A lot of our employees have more than 10 years of service. Our company also offers an opportunity to move up in the company, we offer education to be able to succeed further. Many of the people in management positions in our company started out on the factory floor, even our general manager. We hire from within and offer the training to succeed in those roles.