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New York-Based Manufacturer U.S. Nonwovens Bringing 200 Jobs to Scranton


Scranton, PA - A New York-based private label manufacturer is bringing a factory to Scranton where it will need 200 workers to make laundry detergent.


John L. Augustine III, President/CEO of Penn's Northeast, Northeastern PA's regional economic development agency said "Penn’s Northeast partnered with our members – The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce / SLIBCO, NAI Mertz and the Governor's Action Team to help bring U.S. Nonwovens to our region.  This announcement shows the continuing trend of companies leaving New York to move to Northeastern PA.  We look forward to sharing additional announcements in the near future." 


U.S. Nonwovens Corp. plans to begin producing detergent and fabric softener by Aug. 1, said project manager Stephen Robacker.


Pay starts between $11 and $13 an hour depending on skill, and the company rewards loyal employees, he said.


U.S. Nonwovens bought the former Master Halco Inc. chain link fence factory last year for $6.2 million, according to property records. Robacker, who lives in Scranton, used to be the maintenance lead at Master Halco before it shut down in 2015.


USN pulled him on board because he knew the Scranton market, including contractors who can help get the building in shape. He promised that USN will rely heavily on Northeast Pennsylvania firms to upgrade the facility.


“By us bringing this company here, it’s going to give everybody an opportunity for growth, and that’s what Scranton needs is growth,” he said.


USN has been using the 276,000-square-foot building for distribution, but will soon begin installing factory equipment. Robacker said the company plans to add four subsequent production lines, and later expand the site to make other goods in the future.


USN is looking to transplant its Brooklyn candle factory where it makes up to 150,000 candles in a single day, and Scranton is a contender for the relocation, he said.


“We’re always pleased when the city of Scranton can directly benefit from new job creation,” said Bob Durkin, president of the Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce.


A team with the chamber’s economic development affiliate the Scranton Plan worked with USN for about a year to identify a suitable location that meets the company’s needs, he said.


USN has nearly 1,000 employees spread across nine factories, 30 sales offices and 50 distribution centers, according to its website. But the company saw opportunity in Scranton, and like a number of other manufacturing and distribution companies, found the relative cost of business appealing.


The region also enjoys a highway network that offers easy access to the network of major cities from Washington, D.C., to Boston, said Steve Cole, vice president of the commercial real estate firm NAI Mertz, who facilitated the building’s sale back in August.


“A lot of companies from New York look here for a number of reasons — cheaper utility costs, cheaper labor, cheaper living costs for employees,” he said. “They were the primary reasons that U.S. Nonwovens chose that site.”

Contact the writer:; 570-348-9131; @jon_oc

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