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DiamondBack building sales, success

PHILIPSBURG — A Philipsburg manufacturer continues to grow — setting new sales records almost every month.

DiamondBack Truck Covers began as a class project in 2002 by Ethan Wendle, now chairman of the board, and his Penn State classmate Matt Chverchko, now chief of engineering. The company began with one employee and 3,000 square feet of manufacturing space.

In 2017 the company, which manufactures truck covers, UTV accessories, long aluminum loading ramps and diamond plate trim and furnishings, moved into a new 38,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in the Moshannon Valley Regional Business Park.

On Thursday, the 100th employee walked through the door. DiamondBack announced plans earlier this year to add an additional shift to keep up with capacity demands.

However, the company decided to take a different approach — switching to a 35-hour work week.

“In June, we were weighing the comparative benefits of a traditional afternoon or traditional night shift.

We had some concerns with both and were left wondering if there might be a better way, a way that furthered our mission to be one of the best manufacturing companies in central Pennsylvania that employees love to work for. In August we did a four-week trial of the nontraditional model to test the idea.

The trial was a great success. On Nov. 2, we launched permanently into the 35-hour work week,” said CEO Ben Eltzl. “Our team works 35 hours but get paid for 40. This has been received very well by our team.”

The company, which has been listed on the Inc. 5000 for eight straight years, has grown 164 percent in the last three years, Campbell said.

“In 2020, our revenue will double our 2017 revenue. In 2017, we doubled our 2014 revenue. In October of 2020, we sold more DiamondBack Covers than in 2005,” Eltz said. “May was our biggest sales month in company history until we beat it in June and then beat June in September.”

Executive Director Stan LaFuria of the Moshannon Valley Economic Development Partnership, is impressed with the company.

“One of the most impressive aspects of this company is the leadership and their intelligence, leadership and commitment to a successful operation. When we talk about the impact they have made on the area, we usually think about the number of jobs, the payroll that is paid to their employees and the buying power that is generated by this company. I personally believe that one other impact — more difficult to measure — is the big time increase in local pride. They have large billboards on each end of the community that promote local pride. One example is the wording that they use: ‘Made in Philipsburg.’ We are very proud of what they have accomplished and proud to say that we had a small role in the success that they have achieved,” LaFuria said.

Diamondback continues to add employees.

“We’ve hired nine production employees in the last two months and would hire another 15 today. However, we are looking for some pretty unique people. DiamondBack team members believe the world around them can be changed by an individual’s actions. They love to come to work and love the team they work alongside. And they’re the type of people who get better and work harder when things look challenging,” Eltz said. “Our company has survived and thrived because of the grit and tenacity that our founders, executives, and team members share. We’ll need more people like this to continue growing far into the future.”

Mirror Staff Writer Walt Frank is at 814-946-7467.

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