New Castle News

Closer Look

September 20, 2012

Standards testing company part of state tour

NEW CASTLE — The innovations of a husband-and-wife-owned testing company has captured the attention of the state economic development secretary.

But Keystone Compliance, which recently expanded to a site on the Columbus Innerbelt, has had the attention of Pittsburgh-area entrepreneurs for a few years. It has repeatedly brought home banners heralding its success as a continually growing company in the southwestern Pennsylvania region.

Keystone Compliance is an accredited laboratory that assists manufacturers and engineers in meeting worldwide regulatory standards in environmental and product safety testing.

The company’s newly renovated 20,000-square-foot lab includes five test chambers. The environmental lab includes three electrodynamic shakers, several temperature/humidity chambers, thermal shock, pneumatic shock, IP code testing equipment, salt-fog chambers and a variety of other environmental test equipment.

The company has expanded from its original site on West State Street in Union Township and plans to expand more.

Owners Rhonda and Tony Masone started the business in 2007, having branched out on their own after working in the same field in southern California.

They established their business in New Castle because “Tony’s from New Castle,” Kansas-born Rhonda explained.

“We looked all over the United States and really saw a need in this area,” she said. “It takes a lot of years of experience and knowledge.

“We researched it and knew there was a real need for this between Pittsburgh and Cleveland.”

Keystone’s lab is staffed with 19 employees, including engineers and report writers with the technical expertise to meet testing requirements.

 For the second straight year, Keystone Compliance was named the 16th fastest growing company in the Pittsburgh region by the Pittsburgh Business Times. The ranking was announced at the annual Pittsburgh 100 reception last month.

Keystone was a stop Wednesday on an tour of businesses and industries throughout the state by members of the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development.

“We went to more than 60 events,” said deputy secretary Carolyn Newhouse, who made Keystone her last stop before attending the Lawrence County Economic Development Corp.’s annual dinner Wednesday night.

Newhouse and other leadership and senior staffers of the agency have been visiting businesses, industry and economic development prospects throughout the state.

“When we look at and listen to these ideas and innovations that companies like this are employing to increase revenues and successes, it’s invigorating for us,” she said of Keystone Compliance.

“It’s nice to see a number of companies continuing to survive in this economy and in this region,” she said, “and Keystone Compliance is the epitome of that. It’s great for New Castle, it’s great for the county and it’s great for the state.”

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