State College

This local tech company is expanding in downtown State College and adding jobs

Jeremy Frank, owner of KCF Technologies, poses for a photo outside at the KCF office on Fraser Street in 2016.
Jeremy Frank, owner of KCF Technologies, poses for a photo outside at the KCF office on Fraser Street in 2016. Centre Daily Times, file

KCF Technologies Inc., along with the Centre County Economic Development Partnership, announced Tuesday that KCF plans to significantly expand its corporate headquarter operations in downtown State College.

The company, located at 336 S. Fraser St., was founded in 2000, and it optimizes American manufacturing by developing and commercializing products and solutions for industry and the military.

According to a press release, KCF plans to lease about 15,000 square feet of additional corporate headquarter space, which is a $1.5 million investment.

“Our company ‘grew up’ downtown, starting in an office on Foster, and we want to keep our roots here. The new property allows us to continue to grow without losing our connections to the vibrant downtown area. The CCEDP’s partnership was an important part of that decision,” Jeremy Frank, president and co-founder of KCF Technologies, said in the release.

At a Tuesday press conference, Frank declined to reveal the location of the “prominent new” building, saying the lease had not yet been signed.

According to a performance agreement with the CCEDP, KCF pledges to lease new office space for no fewer than five years; increase jobs in State College to 200 within 36 months (the business recently hired its 100th employee); and maintain its corporate headquarters in State College for no fewer than 10 years.

In exchange, the economic development partnership will work to remedy parking concerns; coordinate regulatory cooperation so that KCF can move in by March 1; and help KCF deal with other potential regulatory permissions, the release said.

“KCF Technologies is a true home-grown success story, evolving from a company heavy on government-sponsored research projects to one realizing tremendous commercial success with its SmartDiagnostics technology,” Vern Squier, Chamber of Business & Industry of Centre County president and CEO, said in the press release. “As the company continues to experience robust growth and expand its industrial customer base, it is of critical importance to economic growth and job creation that the company remains headquartered in State College/Centre County.”

This is more than a typical expansion project, Squier said. It’s an important economic development retention project.

“The community component is an essential part of making sure that KCF Technologies continues its aggressive growth in Centre County,” he said. “Officials in State College, surrounding municipalities, and Centre County immediately recognized the need to work collaboratively to make sure that happens.”

A $150,000 investment from area muncipalities is part of the project — $50,000 will come from the Centre County Commissioners’ general fund and State College borough, College, Ferguson and Patton townships will put $25,000 each toward the $1.5 million expansion.

State College Mayor Don Hahn said in the press release that the borough is excited about KCF’s growth in the downtown, saying it will help bring high-quality job opportunities and additional jobs for State College professionals.

He said the borough looks forward to continuing the strong, collaborative relationship with KCF Technologies for years to come.

“Our mission is to optimize American manufacturing, and we believe an important component of that is not only elevating our customers but also fostering growth and success in the Centre County economy,” Frank said. “Communities and their residents need meaningful, well-paying jobs to thrive, and we want to be a leader in providing impactful opportunities for work.”