Top Employers

June 3, 2012 

After a recession-induced two-year hiatus into nearly 7 percent unemployment, Centre County’s jobless rate has returned to about 5 percent. But the economy may have shifted fundamentally in the interim.

The biggest net gain in employment among 2011’s top employers in Centre County — even more than Penn State’s — belongs to Mount Nittany Health System. Its employment roll has grown to more than 1,950 employees in 2012, ranking it the second-largest employer in the county.

The 2011 withdrawal of Jostens — the county’s 18th-largest employer last year — resulted in the loss of 230 jobs. Another employer that cut local jobs last year was Raytheon, which laid off about 100 employees. School districts and government entities also shaved their employment rolls in 2011, reflecting the hit the recession put on the tax base.

The brightest spot in Centre County’s employment picture comes from locally based companies. Along with Mount Nittany Health System, Restek and Minitab each added employees in 2011.

The following is a list of the 30 largest employers in the county based on the number of people the companies report employing within Centre County:

1. PENN STATE
Location: University Park campus
Leader: Rodney Erickson, president
What it does: Public research university with main campus in Centre County.
Employees in Centre County: 23,432
What changed: Penn State kept its spot as the seventh-largest employer in the state, but the university saw its contingent of full-time employees decline by 225 from last year, while its part-time positions increased by 471.

2. MOUNT NITTANY MEDICAL CENTER MOUNT NITTANY HEALTH SYSTEM
Location: 1800 E. Park Ave., State College
Leader: Steve Brown, president and CEO
What it does: Mount Nittany Health System runs a 260-bed hospital and has additional outpatient clinics providing medical and health services throughout Centre County.
Employees in Centre County: 1,951
What changed: Mount Nittany absorbed its year-old physicians group in 2011. It is in the midst of a campaign to add services and has invested more than $100 million into the expansion of its hospital in College Township.

3. STATE COLLEGE AREA SCHOOL DISTRICT
Location: 131 W. Nittany Ave.
Leader: Bob O’Donnell, superintendent
What it does: The school district educates about 6,900 students in the Centre Region.
Employees in Centre County: 1,539
What changed: The district has 1,166 full-time and 373 part-time employees. Its 2011-2012 operating budget is just less than $112 million, down from $113.5 million last year.

4. STATE GOVERNMENT
Location: Harrisburg
Leader: Tom Corbett, governor
What it does: State government employs about 80,000 Pennsylvanians in areas not under the purview of federal or local authorities.
Employees in Centre County: 1,148
What changed: Pennsylvania’s 2011-2012 budget of $27.3 billion cut $800 million out of the previous year’s budget, leading to layoffs across the state, including in Centre County.

5. COUNTY GOVERNMENT
Location: Willowbank Building, Bellefonte
Leader: Steve Dershem, Chris Exarchos and Michael Pipe, commissioners
What it does: The county runs governmental functions not otherwise taken care of by either state or local governments; offices include county planning, elections, the Recorder of Deeds and the Register of Wills, among many others. The county’s 2012 budget is approximately $80 million.
Employees in Centre County: 791 (717 full-time, 74 part-time)
What changed: Budgetary restraints caused significant cuts to county employment in 2011.

6. GLENN O. HAWBAKER INC.
Location: 1952 Waddle Road, State College
Leader: Dan Hawbaker, president
What it does: Glenn O. Hawbaker performs heavy construction, concrete construction, utility work, asphalt production, and heavy equipment rentals and sales.
Employees in Centre County: 782
What changed: In recent years, Hawbaker has found a niche in providing services to Marcellus Shale drillers.

7. WALMART STORES INC.
Location: State College
Leader: Bill Frantz, Walmart manager; Rich Fickus, Sam’s Club manager
What it does: Walmart, the world’s largest employer and 18th largest public corporation, has almost 9,000 retail locations around the globe.
Employees in Centre County: 735
What changed: The Walmart Supercenter on the Benner Pike has 325 people on staff, the supercenter on North Atherton Place employed around 310 people and the Benner Pike Sam's Club has about 100 workers.

8. FEDERAL GOVERNMENT
Location: Washington, D.C.
Leader: Barack Obama, president
What it does: The federal government operates 17 agencies in Centre County.
Employees in Centre County: 567
What changed: The federal government has 267 employees in the county, including 48 employed by the Department of Defense and 41 in the Department of Agriculture. Another 300 or so are Postal Service workers.

9. THE MEADOWS PSYCHIATRIC CENTER AND UNIVERSAL COMMUNITY BEHAVIORAL HEALTH
Location: 132 The Meadows Drive, Centre Hall
Leader: Thomas Kenny, CEO
What it does: The Meadows provides inpatient psychiatric care as well as outpatient therapy for children, adolescents and adults.
Employees in Centre County: 536
What changed: Of its employees, 357 are full-time, 164 are per diem and 15 work part time.

10. HRI INC.
Location: 1750 W. College Ave., Suite 2, State College
Leader: John Kulka, president and CEO
What it does: Founded in State College and now owned by the multinational corporation Colas, HRI performs asphalt paving, highway construction and utility work. It also runs several hot mix asphalt plants and one emulsion plant.
Employees in Centre County: 500
What changed: Despite multiple requests, HRI did not report its employee count for 2011. Its 2010 figure was used for the list.

11. BELLEFONTE AREA SCHOOL DISTRICT
Location: 318 N. Allegheny St., Bellefonte
Leader: Cheryl Potteiger, superintendent
What it does: The school district educates 2,895 students in the Bellefonte area.
Employees in Centre County: 489
What changed: Of the district’s employees, 25 are administrators, 271 are teachers and 193 are support staff. The district had a $41.2 million budget in 2011.

12. WEIS MARKETS INC.
Location: 1000 S. Second St., Sunbury
Leader: David Hepfinger, president and CEO
What it does: The supermarket chain, based in Sunbury, has five area locations in State College, Bellefonte, Philipsburg and Ferguson and College townships.
Employees in Centre County: 482
What changed: Weis opened its Spring Township superstore in March, which will add dozens more jobs to its employee count for 2012.

13. GEISINGER MEDICAL GROUP
Location: Centre County
Leader: Dr. Raymond Nungesser, regional medical director
What it does: Geisinger is a regional health system based in Danville.
Employees in Centre County: 473
What changed: Geisinger continued its expansion in Centre County in 2011. It now has 199 employees at its Scenery Park site, 145 at its Grays Woods facility, 81 in Philipsburg, 25 in Bellefonte, 15 at its Patton Forest location, and seven at its 611 University Drive ear, nose and throat clinic.

14. WEGMANS FOOD MARKETS INC.
Location: 345 Colonnade Blvd., State College
Leader: Todd Strassner, manager
What it does: Wegmans, based in Rochester, N.Y., has 77 grocery stores in five states, including one in Centre County.
Employees in Centre County: 430
What changed: The chain is adding 10 more stores, including its first in Massachusetts.

15. RAYTHEON CORP.
Location: Science Park Road, State College
Leader: Elizabeth Hale, site executive, processing systems director
What it does: Massachusetts-based Raytheon is one of the largest defense contractors in the country. Its facility on Science Park Road is part of the Intelligence and Information Systems division of the company.
Employees in Centre County: 331
What changed: The company laid off about 90 employees due to program closures, as well as attrition, retirements and relocations within the company.

16. HELMERICH & PAYNE INC.
Location: 912 N. Eagle Valley Road, Howard
Leader: Ricky Shoalmire, operations manager
What it does: Helmerich & Payne is a contractor for the oil and natural gas exploration industry. The Tulsa, Okla.-based firm builds and runs drilling rigs.
Employees in Centre County: 325
What changed: The company established its Marcellus Shale operations center near Milesburg last year. Its employees work on rigs throughout the state, as well as Ohio and West Virginia, but are based in Centre County.

17. SHANER CORP.
Location: 1965 Waddle Road, State College
Leader: Lance Shaner, chairman
What it does: Shaner Corp., with headquarters in State College, is composed of a hotels management firm and a financial services arm.
Employees in Centre County: 324
What changed: Along with 103 employees in its Patton Township, Shaner operates five hotels in Centre County: Toftrees Resort, with 106 employees; the Holiday Inn Express, with 32 employees; the Hampton Inn, with 22 employees; and the Springhill Suites and the Fairfield Inn & Suites, both with 20 employees.

18. YMCA OF CENTRE COUNTY
Location: 125 W. High St., Bellefonte
Leader: Dennis Ditmer, president and CEO
What it does: The nonprofit oversees YMCA branches in State College, Bellefonte and Philipsburg.
Employees in Centre County: 323
What changed: Of its total employment, 39 of the YMCA’s employees are full-time, while 284 are part-time.

19. ACCUWEATHER
Location: 385 Science Park Road, State College
Leader: Joel Myers, founder and president; Barry Myers, CEO
What it does: AccuWeather produces and markets weather products and services.
Employees in Centre County: 319
What changed: AccuWeather provided an estimate of 350 employees in Centre County last year, which reflects a minimal loss of employment. The Ferguson Township-based company has another 60 employees outside the county.

20. BALD EAGLE AREA SCHOOL DISTRICT
Location: 751 S. Eagle Valley Road, Wingate
Leader: Daniel Fisher, superintendent
What it does: The district educates almost 2,000 students in the Bald Eagle area.
Employees in Centre County: 315
What changed: Of its total, 268 employees are full-time and 47 are part-time. Its 2011-2012 budget is $26.57 million.

21. HOTEL STATE COLLEGE & CO.
Location: 100 W. College Ave., State College
Leader: Mike Desmond and John Cocolin, partners
What it does: The hospitality company, which runs The Corner Room Restaurant, Allen Street Grill, Bill Pickles Taproom, Indigo Niteclub, Zeno’s Pub, Chumley’s, z2go Bottle Shop and 12 hotel rooms, all in downtown State College.
Employees in Centre County: 304
What changed: The company’s added a handful of employees in 2011.

22. RESTEK CORP.
Location: 110 Benner Circle, Bellefonte
Leader: Bryan Wolcott, president and head coach
What it does: Restek manufactures chromatography products used in a wide range of scientific analysis.
Employees in Centre County: 292
What changed: Restek, founded in Centre County in 1985 and based in Bellefonte, made more than two dozen hires in 2011.

23. PHILIPSBURG-OSCEOLA AREA SCHOOL DISTRICT
Location: 200 Short St., Philipsburg
Leader: Stephen Benson, superintendent
What it does: The district educates approximately 1,900 students in western Centre County and eastern Clearfield County.
Employees in Centre County: 284
What changed: The district cut its budget by more than $700,000 from 27.5 million to $26.7 million, resulting in layoffs. Of its employees, 273 are full-time and 11 are part-time.

24. MINITAB INC.
Location: 1829 Pine Hall Road, State College
Leader: Barbara Ryan, president and CEO
What it does: The creator of data analysis software for businesses and statistics educational software for schools was founded in State College in 1972.
Employees in Centre County: 275
What changed: Improved business led Minitab to hire five additional employees this year.

25. MCDONALD’S
Location: Centre County
Leader: Jason Saylor, department head for central Pennsylvania
What it does: McDonald’s, based in Illinois, is a global fast-food restaurant chain.
Employees in Centre County: 260
What changed: The fast-food giant has the same number of employees it did last year at its four locations in State College and one in Milesburg.

26. GIANT FOOD STORES
Location: 2222 E. College Ave. and 255 Northland Center, State College
Leader: Fred McLaughlin and Scott Stephens, managers
What it does: The retail grocer operates 180 stores in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia.
Employees in Centre County: 261
What changed: There are 123 employees at the East College Avenue store and 138 at the Northland Center location. The nine lost jobs represent normal turnover at the supermarket chain.

27. SUPELCO
Location: 595 N. Harrison Road, Bellefonte
Leader: Rod Datt, site director
What it does: A division of Sigma-Aldrich, Supelco manufactures chromatography columns and other related products for analytical scientists at its Bellefonte location.
Employees in Centre County: 258
What changed: Supelco continued to grow with its two net hires in 2011.

28. BROOKLINE HEALTH CARE
Location: 1950 Cliffside Drive, State College
Leader: Clifford Coldren, general partner
What it does: Brookline operates the Fairways, a senior living community offering accommodations and health care services.
Employees in Centre County: 247
What changed: Though Brookline’s employment fell by eight employees in 2011, more than 200 of its 247 employees are full-time workers.

29. SHEETZ INC.
Location: 5700 Sixth Ave., Altoona
Leader: Stan Sheetz, president and CEO
What it does: Sheetz is a gas station and convienience store chain based in Altoona.
Employees in Centre County: 216
What changed: Sheetz opened new stores on South Atherton Street and on Benner Pike, adding 24 employees, raising its total number of stores in the county to seven. Of its employees, 100 are working full time and 116 part time.

30. DANTE’S
Location: 138 Moses Thompson Lane, State College
Leader: Andrew Zangrilli, CEO
What it does: Dante’s is a restaurant group that owns Bar Bleu, Inferno, HiWay Pizza, Mario’s, The Deli and The Saloon
Employees in Centre County: 210
What changed: Dante’s closed one of its two Hi-Way Pizza locations, at 28 Westerly Parkway, in June 2010, which had served State College since the mid-1970s. It opened The Hop Shop, selling beer at 113 Hiester St.

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