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Bits of Business: Restaurant, manufacturer setting up shop in Philipsburg

Armando and Sabrina Saldana have a lot on their plate and a lot of plates to fill.

The couple have six children and two grandchildren, which would be a handful for some people. They also have a restaurant, Salsa’s Mexican Grill, in Bedford.

Their lives are about to get a little more hectic — but fun, they say — when they open Salsa’s Mexican Grill II at 1129 Philipsburg-Bigler Highway in January. No specific opening date has been set.

“We know it’ll be busier, but we believe God has blessed us with a wonderful family and plenty of business opportunities,” Sabrina Saldana said.

The restaurant will seat about 100 people, and the Saldanas are looking to hire about 10 people.

Their expansion to Philipsburg seemed like a good fit.

“Getting a restaurant in Philipsburg is a good opportunity, and we noticed that,” Sabrina Saldana said. “There aren’t too many options for people to eat in Philipsburg, so we’re excited to open soon and give people another place to eat.”

State College business to expand

Reshoring is becoming a buzzword in economic development, according to Stan LaFuria, the executive director of the Moshannon Valley Economic Development Partnership

“It’s when American manufacturers bring back and establish manufacturing operations in the United States,” LaFuria said.

Polymics, a plastics manufacturing company based in State College, is expanding to Philipsburg, returning manufacturing operations from Taiwan. The company will operate in the Moshannon Valley Enterprise Center next year.

Owner Tim Hsu could not be reached for comment.

“This is outstanding and a big-time success for us,” LaFuria said. “We found Dr. Hsu to be brilliant, and we’re really pleased to have him here.”

Partnerships for Regional Economic Performance, a statewide network of partners who work to coordinate regional economic development, played a role in Polymics’ expansion.

“Polymics expressed a desire to bring operations back here, and together we set up visits for a few different locations, and Philipsburg was the best location for Polymics,” Mary Resides, of the Chamber of Business and Industry of Centre County, said.

Merger doubles operations

Terry Melton will soon retire from the company she founded 15 years ago, but feels she’s leaving it in good hands in the midst of a merger.

Melton founded Mitotyping Technologies in State College in 1999 and sold it in 2012 to American International Biotechnology, which merged with Fairfax Identity Lab this month.

The merger will bring Fairfax Identitiy Lab’s services to Ferguson Township, where Melton is still the director of the Mitotyping Technologies lab.

“They decided to consolidate forensics here, and we’ll have full services here including forensic, family relationship and mitotyping technologies,” Melton said.

The merger will double operations and staff in the laboratory, because the company will hire four DNA technical staff.