June 2014

Dubois plant reopens

Glenn O. Hawbaker Inc. Re-opens Facility in DuBois

(Provided photo)

(Provided photo)

DUBOIS – Pennsylvania has addressed the deferred maintenance of roads and bridges across the state.  In the fall of 2013, legislative leaders made transportation funding a priority.

State Rep. Sam Smith of Jefferson County was stalwart in his support of the Act 89.  “We are beginning to see and feel the effects of Act 89 passed by the legislature in November of 2013” said Dan Hawbaker, president of Glenn O. Hawbaker Inc.

Act 89, he said, is scheduled to provide funding for roads, bridges and infrastructure across the commonwealth and into the future.

“Our state had been operating for several years in a constrained budgetary environment that has not allowed the state and municipalities to keep pace with necessary repairs and construction,” Hawbaker added.

As a result, Glenn O. Hawbaker Inc. will re-open its asphalt production facility in Dubois. The plant has been closed for the past two years; its re-opening is the direct result of Act 89, said Hawbaker.

According to him, the state Department of Transportation (PennDOT) has an increased construction schedule.  And, Hawbaker will be hiring workers at its DuBois plant.

“It means more employees to drive trucks, more people to work on paving crews, more skilled jobs to work on bridge construction,” said Hawbaker.

Hawbaker, he said, currently has 95 job openings across the state in a variety of job categories.  The company’s total employment, he added, could exceed 1,200 people in 2014.

“Another positive aspect of these new job opportunities is that they are all local,” said Hawbaker. “The Act 89 is action on the part of the state of Pennsylvania supporting Pennsylvania jobs.

“In addition, it’s making our highways better and safer and avoiding detours. A good infrastructure is important to new industry. The timing is excellent [because] Pennsylvania is developing what could be the most prolific natural gas field in the world. It’s providing low-cost and efficient energy that is attracting new industry.”




Touch a Truck


Kids take the driver’s seat at annual Touch-a-Truck event in State College

June 28, 2014

Lia Schrag, 5, climbs out of the cab of a Centre Concrete mixing truck during the Touch a Truck event on Saturday.CHRISTOPHER WEDDLE — CDT photo 

STATE COLLEGE — As Lia Schrag, 5, climbed out of a school bus at the Touch-a-Truck event, her face shone with excitement and curiosity.

“I’m probably most excited to see the small bus over there,” Lia said. “I don’t know about everything, but it’s really cool here. I’m just really excited to be here. I’ve been on two buses and a lawnmower so far.”

On Saturday, Centre Region Parks and Recreation held its 10th annual Touch-a-Truck event, sponsored by Glenn O. Hawbaker Inc., at the State College Area High School driver training lot.

It’s an opportunity for children to climb into trucks, buses and construction vehicles — and to take home goodies from vendors, such as snacks, coloring books, crayons, bubbles, hard hats and more.

Beth Lee, of State College, is a recreation supervisor for programs and special events and is dedicated to this event.

“When I moved here, a friend had done this with her Parks and Rec department and I got to know some of the employees through Hawbaker, so it became a partnership that way,” Lee said. “They wanted to be our sponsor, and so we just started asking all the different vendors, townships and businesses; they were more than happy to bring their vehicles out, so it works.”

Although the event doesn’t take an immense amount of time to put together, Lee keeps her eyes open for new ideas year-round.

“I’m constantly driving around town, or around the state or the country, and looking at trucks and saying, ‘Oh, I need that for Touch-a-Truck!’ ”

The wide variety of trucks included a Centre Area Transportation Authority bus, school buses, a Fullington bus, construction vehicles, an ambulance and more, but the most popular among the kids seemed to be the firetruck.

“I like the fire truck,” 7-year-old Hannah Gray said. “I’m going to get on it after my baby brother.” She said she hoped he wouldn’t honk the horn because “it’s too loud and hurts my ears.”

Scott Holmes, 6, also explored the fire truck.

“I got to go up in the cherry picker,” Scott said. “It went really high and I got to see all of the other trucks.”

Other kids preferred the construction vehicles.

Preston Biederman, 10, was most excited to see “the dump truck, I guess, because it’s just big and it carries stuff.”

And 9-year-old Ethan Fong, who has been attending Touch-a-Truck for eight years, enjoys the trucks, but also the social aspect of the event.

“I like coming with friends because they give me company,” Ethan said.

Lee said she thinks the event is not only beneficial to the kids, but also to the operators of the trucks.

“We do it because so many kids in town see these vehicles, but to be able to climb into them, pretend to drive them, honk the horn and get up close, it’s a great eye-opening experience for them,” Lee said. “It’s also a great experience for the men and women who operate the vehicles; they don’t usually get that community connection, so I think that brings it all together.”