Scott Linde, president of Linde Corporation, spoke on the subject at the annual economic development breakfast sponsored by the Progress Authority on Thursday.
Linde said his Honesdale-based company is working with four natural gas companies working in the Marcellus – installing pipelines, water draw stations, mixing drill muds and even working construction on a compressor station in Lackawanna County.
“Focus on service,” advised Linde.
Linde said, “It was simple for us. We waited until they asked us for something and then gave them what they needed.”
Two years ago, Linde said his company was not working at all with gas companies. Now 50 percent of the company’s business volume is tied to the Marcellus Shale activity.
He said natural gas companies are constantly in the middle of a permit process. “You need to be ready to react as soon as the permit comes in,” Linde said.
He said the opportunity to gain the gas companies business sometimes comes when it is inconvenient but it’s a matter of “who can get there first.”
“I only see opportunity everywhere for everyone in this room,” Linde told the attendees.
The businessman said that to date he has hired 35 local people to work for him; six of his employees are from out of the state and the rest of his team is comprised of a core group of employees out of Lackawanna and Luzerne counties.
“I’m looking for the farm boy I was,” said Linde, “someone who gets up early and is not afraid to work hard.”
The county commissioners named Diaz Corporation as Business of the Year. Owner Adam Diaz accepted the plaque.
In the past year, Diaz has expanded from his bluestone business, acquiring a lumber mill and adding a disposal service. He is also involved in property management and played a key role in bringing Tractor Supply to the Montrose area.
Diaz said, “I shouldn’t be here; it should be my employees up here. They’re the ones who make it happen. I’m just the name.”
Progress Authority executive director Tony Ventello reported the group focuses up to 70 percent of its time on natural gas issues.
He said that in addition to gas opportunities, he was seeing a trickle down effect from the industry to local restaurants and even a jewelry business.
Ventello said, “I believe we’re on the edge of great new development in the region.”
He also said the construction of the new Endless Mountains Health Systems facility would have a “great effect on the area.”