Two Firms Move Into Ex-scott Site

Posted: December 31, 1997

TINICUM — Franklin Acceptance Corp. and ProCredit Inc. opened their new corporate headquarters at International Plaza yesterday, the first step in the creation of 200 Delaware County jobs.

Rob Gurnee, vice president of Franklin Acceptance, said the company specializes in automobile financing for borrowers whose credit is below prime quality. Franklin will share 38,000 square feet with ProCredit, its sister company, he said.

The new facility will house the executive offices of both companies as well as all operations of ProCredit and a substantial part of Franklin's operation, according to a company news release. Franklin had been based in Greenbelt, Md., and ProCredit was in King of Prussia.

``Choosing Pennsylvania made good sense for Franklin because of its favorable business climate and the proximity to our parent organization,'' Michael C. Ritter, president and CEO, said in a news release. He credited the Gov. Ridge's office, Delaware County officials and the office of Rep. Curt Weldon (R., Pa.) with helping the company relocate.

Franklin and ProCredit qualified for $300,000 in assistance under Pennsylvania's Opportunity Grant Program to defray some relocation costs and $300,000 under the Customized Job Training Program, said Pat Patterson, regional director of the Governor's Action Team.

``We did shop around for a site and for assistance,'' Gurnee said. ``It was a fair package.''

Franklin Acceptance will work with Delaware County Community College on sales, management and computer training for workers, Gurnee said. He estimated a minimum of 200 jobs would be created at the site over the next several years. They will be full-time jobs with full benefit packages, he said. Positions range from entry level to top management, he said.

Patterson said the average annual salary would be $36,000, with an estimated average annual benefit package of $10,800.

Gurnee said International Plaza, formerly known as Scott Plaza, is an attractive location, close to the airport and with access to Interstate 95.

John Sammartino, director of small business programs for the Delaware County Commerce Department, said: ``This is a wonderful way to end this year, which has been very good for job creation in Delaware County. This will add another 200 jobs along the riverfront corridor.''

Sammartino hailed the cooperative team approach taken by local, county, state and federal officials. He said there are now more than 200,000 jobs in Delaware County.

Franklin and ProCredit's parent is Copelco Financial Services Group, of Mount Laurel. Its ultimate parent is Itochu Corp., which August's issue of Fortune magazine called the world's fifth-largest corporation in gross revenues.

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