Essroc marked the 150th anniversary of the company at the Nazareth Center for the Arts in Nazareth, Pa. The event was hosted by the Nazareth/Bath Regional Chamber of Commerce and was attended by several national, state and local dignitaries; members of the press; Chamber members; and Essroc employees.
Alex Car, Essroc president and CEO, spoke at the event reflecting on this momentous anniversary that not only recognizes the historical significance of the cement industry in North America, but also to Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley. Car spoke of how the Valley tends to focus on the impact of the steel industry, however cement has played as critical a role in the local economic development; stating that “cement remains part of the economy and is supported by five local cement factories, two headquarters offices, and the ability to continue to provide good paying jobs to the local area.”
Car also stated how David O. Saylor founded Coplay Cement Co. in 1866, the first Portland cement company in the United States. He highlighted the growth of Coplay and its evolutionary name change in 1990 to Essroc as it expanded into the Canadian and Puerto Rican markets.
The events kickoff location in Nazareth was chosen to signify the point where Essroc and Coplay initiated their expansion efforts that started in the mid-1970s with the construction of a new state-of-the-art facility in Nazareth. This began a series of growth and acquisition actions that continued through the 1980s, 1990s and into the next millennium with the acquisition and expansion of the Martinsburg facility, as well as several ready-mix and aggregate operations, to most recently the acquisition of the Camden slag operation in 2015.
“The town of Nazareth was surrounded by three cement operations starting in the late 19th century, Nazareth Cement, Dexter Portland Cement, and Phoenix Cement; which today carry the less exciting names of Essroc Nazareth plants 1, 2, and 3.” stated Car, “and this is this historic starting point that kicked off the growth that led to Coplay and Essroc being an important player in the North American cement market.”
Following Car’s comments, presentations were made to Essroc by several dignitaries, which included presentations of Pennsylvania Senate and Congressional certificates of accommodation, placarded entries into the US Congressional Record and appreciation expressed by local Council members.
Events surrounding the company’s 150th anniversary will continue to be made throughout the year.