Steel Valley Authority Hosts 28th Anniversary Reception

The Steel Valley Authority’s (SVA) “28th Anniversary” Reception was held Wednesday, May 14, 2014, 6-9 PM at the Grandview Golf Club in North Braddock, PA 15104.  Governor Tom Corbett sent along a congratulatory proclamation. Highlighting the gala event were a number of prestigious speakers:

    • City of Pittsburgh Chief of Staff Kevin Acklin for Mayor Bill Peduto
    • Congressman Mike Doyle
    • Suzanne Smethers, President of Inteprod (a former client of SEWN)

Organized by the SVA Program Committee, the Reception drew 75 participants.  Having been awarded the State of Pennsylvania's Layoff Aversion Contract for over $1.150 million annually for the 2014-2015 Program Year (and a two year renewal potential), the SVA is celebrating many new successes.


Corbett Administration Awards $1.15 Million Grant to Protect Manufacturing Jobs in Pennsylvania

Steel Valley Authority awarded $1.15 Million to provide layoff aversion services

HARRISBURG, Pa., March 28, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) Secretary Julia Hearthway announced today that the Steel Valley Authority (SVA) was awarded a $1.15 million grant to provide layoff aversion services in the commonwealth.The grant supports Governor Tom Corbett's commitment to building a stronger Pennsylvania by helping companies stay in business.

"Proactively working to avoid layoffs reduces the exponentially higher costs of unemployment and job creation programs associated with 'lost' jobs," Hearthway said. "This grant will allow the Steel Valley Authority and its partners to retain jobs, and not only save, but grow businesses."

The grant will support L&I workforce development efforts by providing layoff aversion services to stabilize, restructure, turn-around or attract buyers for at-risk businesses.


SEWN Program Featured in Senator Wayne Fontana's "News & Views" Newsletter

February 25, 2014 - Strategic Early Warning Network (SEWN) Program gets featured in Senator Fontana's "News and Views"

SEWN Program Helping to Save Jobs

One of my budget priorities year after year has always been to fund programs that would create more jobs in the Commonwealth.  At the same time, I think it’s important to stress that we must also advocate for programs that help retain jobs in the state. To that end, I want to highlight a very successful program offered in Pennsylvania called the Strategic Early Warning Network (SEWN).  Essentially, what this program does is provide business expertise to help stabilize a small company by averting layoffs and manufacturing plant closings.


SEWN Conducts Radio Intertiew In the Lehigh Valley Area

Our SEWN Marketing Support Specialist, Mary Beth Enggren, gives interview on local radio station in the Lehigh Valley area.  Arranged by Tina Smith, Executive Director of the Nazareth/Bath Chamber of Commerce, the interview was part of her weekly “Chamber Chat” program which is aired live on Prolifick Radio every Tuesday afternoon.  Mary Beth discusses the SEWN program and the serviices SEWN provides to all counties in the Commonwealth of PA.

The list of shows defaults to the oldest, scroll to the top of the list to find Mary Beth Enggren's.

Wendell August Forge Officially Opens New Factory & Flagship Store

Wendell August Forge enlisted SEWN's help in the spring of 2009 with its financial restructuring services.  Read SEWN's success story on Wendell August Forge.


Wendell August Forge Officially Opens New Factory & Flagship Store
October 29, 2013 2:27 PM

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Three and a half years after a devastating fire, Wendell August Forge has been re-born.

A crowd turned out Tuesday morning to witness a grand reopening just down the road from the Grove City Outlets.

When the fire struck on March 6, 2010, it appeared that America’s oldest and largest forge, still crafting metal by hand, was doomed. That would not be the case.

“We’re celebrating a company that clearly has risen, literally, from the ashes,” Gov. Tom Corbett said at an on-site news conference.


SEWN Article on Managing Margins in Bucks County EDC Newsletter

Strategic Early Warning System (SEWN)

Managing Margins 
December, 2013

In the world of small business, the ability to implement a price increase or even maintain existing margins on repeat business has never been more difficult. Thanks to digital technology, buyers are able to manipulate the quoting process and get potential suppliers to bid against each other within a matter of seconds. While this is nothing new, it continues to be an ever expanding problem for small businesses. Quite simply, This implied price ceiling means there is even less cash or available employee time to keep up with customer requirements.


BCEDC Calls on SEWN For Help With Family Business

Strategic Early Warning System (SEWN)

24 Hours Aren’t Enough
October, 2013

Simply running a small business is more than a 24/7 commitment. Being a mother of four, a full time caregiver and president of your family business is enough to overload anyone’s circuits. None of these jobs came with an instruction manual, and Bucks County business woman Trish Grove has had to become very good at handling each job on the fly. Trish came into the family business when her husband, Ben, began a long term battle with stomach cancer. The business he founded in their family garage, Breathe Safe, had grown into becoming a major provider of fire safety equipment throughout the five-county region and South New Jersey. They were recognized for their exceptional service, and developed a large and loyal base in the volunteer fire community. Unfortunately, with Ben’s inability to help with the business, Trish was left to juggle too many balls, and the business suffered.  


Industrial Laundry Facility Could be First Almono Tenant

By This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. r

Published:  Friday, August 16, 2013

An attempt to bring an industrial laundry facility back to Allegheny County got a boost Friday when the county Redevelopment Authority approved a $100,000 grant to a group sponsoring the Clean'n Green Co-Op Laundry.

The money will help the Steel Valley Group continue its drive to set up a board to oversee the establishment of the employee-owned facility in Hazelwood, which could be the first development in the 178-acre Almono LP complex, site of the former LTV Coke Works. Another Hazelwood site also is being considered.


Fire Proves to be the Crucible of Reinvention for Wendell August Forge

Wendell August Forge enlisted SEWN's help in the spring of 2009 with its financial restructuring services.  Read SEWN's success story on Wendell August Forge.

By Deborah M. Todd / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Published May 9, 2013

The week that Grove City metalcrafter Wendell August Forge celebrated winning the largest orders in its 90-year history was almost the same week it mourned its demise.

In March 2010 -- fresh off of six-figure deals with the Pittsburgh Penguins and Robert Morris University -- the handcrafted metal company's flagship store and workshop burned to the ground. In about an hour, millions of dollars in equipment and materials housed at the Exton location since 1934 were reduced to embers on the collapsed factory's floor. The fire, which started in a ventilation fan being used by workers applying lacquer to products, was ruled accidental.

Three years after what typically is a death blow for small businesses, Wendell August Forge has upped its workforce from a team of 70 to 120, struck distribution deals with 600 stores nationwide and broken ground on a new facility behind Grove City Premium Outlets. The new location, which is scheduled to open this fall, puts the company in the sights of more than 6 million shoppers who hit the outlet mall every year. 


Interview with Senator Bob Mensch


“The Mensch Report” Hosts the Steel Valley Authority
 October, 2012

Show features manufacturing restructuring programs

This month’s edition of The Mensch Report features the Strategic Early Warning Network (SEWN), which assists manufacturers throughout the state who are struggling to grow or to improve the competitiveness of their business.

Senator Mensch (R-24) speaks with Tom Croft, the Executive Director of the Steel Valley Authority, and Suzanne Smethers, co-founder of Inteprod, LLC, regarding how SEWN can help manufacturers retain and grow their employee base.

Since its inception in 1993, SEWN has contributed to the retention and revival of close to 7000 industrial enterprises within Pennsylvania, impacting more than 18,000 jobs. SEWN provides professional and confidential turnaround, financial, and investment services to small and middle market firms employing 25-500 workers through the following core services: Financial Restructuring, Operational Restructuring, Cost Management, Ownership Transition, High Performance Work Strategies and New Market Opportunities. All of SEWN’s services are provided at no cost to the manufacturer, and all information provided is handled in strict confidence.

The Mensch Report can be seen locally on Comcast Cable, RCN Cable, Service Electric Cable, and Pottstown Community Television. Please check local listing for the days, times, and channels. The show is also available online at