Cambria Industrial Development Park

Tony George, an employee at CSC Welding and Fabrication, cuts metal. CSC Welding and Fabrication occupies space within the Cambria Industrial Development Park.

Cambria Industrial Development Park is growing with two businesses, a building being prepared for a third company, storage space in use – and a whole lot of David Layman’s big visions for the future.

The owner held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the facility in 2013.

Since then, Layman has been preparing the land for tenants and operating his own Cambria Industrial Development LLC commodity recycling operation that employs nine people.

“In a year and a half, I couldn’t be happier the way things have gone,” Layman said recently when giving a tour of the property on a cold winter day. “I’m certainly looking forward to having dozens of jobs here by the end of 2015.”

Layman purchased the land and buildings from Dallas-based Trinity Industries Inc.

What is now the industrial park, located at 100 Iron St., Johnstown, was once a bustling Bethlehem Steel plant.

But it had been dormant since 2007. And, as Layman explained, the easiest and possibly most profitable thing for him to do would have been to scrap whatever he could.

He decided not to do that.

“The first half of my career was with Bethlehem Steel from 1977 until 1995,” Layman said. “In ‘95, I left to form JEMCOR (Johnstown Environmental Management Corp.), which is an environmental consulting firm, which has managed the former Bethlehem Steel properties for years.

“Over that 37 years, I’ve just seen too many buildings torn down, shut-downs, abandonment, demolition, and I’m intent to not let that happen here. I think there have been too many opportunities go to waste, not pursued,” he said. “This is an opportunity I think is good for the community, good for the city, good for the county, good for the workforce. It’s just a good potential here.”

Along with housing his metal recycling business, Layman uses part of the property to store materials for JWF Industries and Johnstown Wire Technologies.

A new occupant, Cambria Industrial Metals, is expected to arrive shortly. Layman hopes to attract more tenants over the next year.

CSC Welding and Fabrication operates out of a 20,000-square-foot area. The company’s spacious facility provides room for unloading trucks and access to an overhead crane and nearby railroad tracks.

“In Johnstown, you can’t find (a location like this),” said Corey Gregory, CSC’s vice president. “There’s not a whole lot of heavy industrial fabrication shops.”

Moving to the park enabled CSC – which is co-owned by Gregory, Chad McGowan and Scott McCleester – to expand into a business that now employs eight workers.

“I don’t see that growth slowing down very much,” said McGowan, the company’s president.

Layman has worked with many elected officials and business community leaders to develop the park, which covers 10.4 acres, including 4 acres under roof.

“We are really excited, and Dave has really taken this project on,” said Linda Thomson, president of Johnstown Area Regional Industries. “What he’s doing is cleaning up all these buildings, recycling what he can, putting these brownfields back into reuse.”

U.S. Rep. Keith Rothfus, R-Sewickley, similarly complimented Layman’s effort, saying, “It is always inspiring to see people from our community investing in the future of Johnstown. I was proud to be at the ribbon cutting of the CID Park and follow the developments closely.

“Jobs are being added, new manufacturing plants are coming and Johnstown is once again being highlighted as a great place for businesses to grow and for people to live and work,” Rothfus said. “I look forward to learning what next year will bring for this venture and our community, and will continue to promote this region as one to invest in.”

Dave Sutor is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. He can be reached at (814) 532-5056. Follow him on Twitter @Dave_Sutor.