WEST WYOMING – Ashley Machine & Tool Co., has been supplying parts for the aerospace industry since the 1960s when the company was run out of two separate buildings located in Wyoming. Over the years, the machine shop has expanded and recently, with the help of NEPA Alliance (NEPA), secured two loans to finalize the purchase and renovate the plant.
The current 43,000 sq. ft. facility, one structure made up of three connected buildings on seven acres location on Shoemaker Ave., received a financial boost with the assistance of NEPA in securing two loans: one loan from NEPA’s internal Economic Development Administration (EDA) COVID-19 Relief funds and the other from the PA Industrial Development Authority (PIDA) loan program through the Department of Community & Economic Development (DCED). NEPA also worked with FNCB Bank as the partnering bank lender on the project.
“We are committed to help our region grow economically,” Jeffrey Box, president & CEO NEPA, said. “The programs here today to help John and Zach (Mulhern) expand their company were through federal, state, and local partnerships to allow this company to grow in Northeast PA, which is what we are all about here.”
Ashley Machine & Tool Co. owners, John and Michele Mulhern, utilized the $1.16 million to purchase and renovate the facility.
“We used $860,000 to buy the building and the land next door, which I was leasing from the prior owner,” Mulhern said. “We used a little over $300,000 for new additions to the building, a lean-to for material storage, and two pole barns.”
On hand for the acknowledgment of funds secured by NEPA for Ashley Machine was PA Sen. Lisa Baker, as well as representatives for PA Gov. Josh Shapiro, Senators John Fetterman and Bob Casey, Rep. Matt Cartwright, Greater Wyoming Valley Chamber of Commerce, and Luzerne Co. Council.
Ashley Machine & Tool Co. specializes in the engineering, machining and quality control of a wide variety of aerospace parts. The company was founded in 1945 and established itself as a quality tool and die machine shop.
By 1950, Ashley was serving such customers as the U.S. Navy and the American Chain and Cable Company.
They are currently suppliers for some of the largest aerospace companies in the world such as Northrop Grumman, Daher Aerospace, and Goodrich Aerospace.
Mulhern said he sees a bright future for Ashley Machine to include growing the company in the coming years.
“I want to expand the company in the future and with that comes with diversification too,” Mulhern added. “I don’t want to necessarily stay in aerospace, I’d like to get into other niches and quite possibly non-metallic, maybe getting into plastics.”
Mulhern said they have quoted jobs for leaders in space exploration such as SpaceX.
“When you look at aerospace, in general, outer space is the next big thing,” Mulhern admitted. “They are talking about building cities on the lower half of the moon, getting to Mars, it’s crazy.”
Mulhern said he’s not sure how far into the future he’ll be running the business, but when he’s ready to step down, he will rely on his son Zachary to take over company into the future.