KCF Technologies expands in State College

By: fioreMarketing | February 2, 2020 | Original Article

KCF Technologies has been doubling its workforce every year for four years, and the young company is entering the next decade with an even more ambitious goal — to grow its more than 200 State College employees tenfold.

KCF, started by CEO Jeremy Frank and his partners Gary Koopman and Weicheng Chen in 2000, expanded its headquarters to the second floor of the Metropolitan at 400 W. College Ave. this month. The company develops and commercializes products and technology for a variety of different American manufacturing industries, including automotive, oil and gas and timber.

“The reason we chose this location (400 W. College Ave.) for the growth, probably the biggest thing is our visibility,” said Frank. “The hardest thing about growing is finding the best people, and this is a very high profile location and it’s attractive.”

KCF is ramping up marketing and recruiting in an effort to double its headcount this year, an initiative headed by new Human Resources Director Jen Mitchell.

Mitchell said State College “has that vibrant community that we think can be really attractive to a lot of different demographics” the company is trying to recruit.

“We really do believe in Happy Valley,” said Frank. “We love it here, we believe in being here and we make a huge investment to be here because we love it.”

While Penn State fuels a large part of State College’s economy — it’s been the top employer in the region for many years running — Frank said it’s important to diversify the area’s industries.

“If you only have Penn State without an ecosystem of technology companies that thrive and balance the economy, it’s not as good as it could be,” he said. “(When) the balance is good, it makes Penn State more powerful, it makes our region more powerful. That’s what we really believe in.”

Vern Squier, executive director of the Chamber of Business and Industry in Centre County, said KCF could be “anywhere in the world … but they have chosen distinctly and solidly to make this community, State College, Centre County, their headquarters.”

KCF serves as a role model for other companies in the community, he said.

That’s exactly what Frank wants.

Centre Region Entrepreneur Network has a goal for the area to reach $3 billion in private business activity by the year 2033, he said, and right now it’s about $1.5 billion. Eventually, Frank hopes to see 10,000 new technology jobs in the area bringing the same growth KCF has.

KCF has four locations in Centre County — its production office in Bellefonte, management office on Beaver Avenue in State College, an innovation and learning training hub at its former office on Fraser Street and software and technological services at the West College Avenue office.

“I’m just really proud that we’re one of the companies that’s fueling that growth, and that growth is going to bring stability to the region, jobs (and) a thriving economy that will last in a long long time,” Frank said.

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