Chamber honors companies’ growth


The Regional Chamber
honored companies in
several categories.

By DON SHILLING

VINDICATOR BUSINESS EDITOR

BOARDMAN — Sales at Diamond Steel Construction Co. soared last year, just like one of its boom cranes that lift heavy objects to the top of buildings.

Dave Collins, president of the Boardman company, wouldn’t reveal how much sales were up last year because he said it was such an unusual year. He did say, however, that the company had more than 200 union workers at job sites at times last year, which was about four times normal levels.

For its successful year, Diamond Steel was one of the companies honored with a Mahoning Valley Growth Award from the Regional Chamber. At a ceremony Thursday at Mr. Anthony’s, 19 companies received awards for either sales or employee growth.

Diamond Steel won the top award, called a pinnacle award, for largest increase in sales for companies with more than 100 employees.

The company operates 21 boom cranes, with the largest stretching 151 feet and carrying up to 150 tons.

Area manufacturers call Diamond Steel for help when they are repairing or building plants. Collins said one customer, which he didn’t want to identify, kept Diamond Steel particularly busy last year with some large repair projects.

Diamond Steel was founded in 1928 by Clarence Smith Sr., a local businessman who also founded Compco Industries in Youngstown. Diamond Steel today has a six-person management team but relies on agreements with Ironworkers, Operating Engineers, Teamsters and Boilermakers unions to supply workers.

The chamber honored Career Advantage of Mahoning Valley as the small company with the largest percentage increase in sales.

Joe Angelo, company vice president, said the staffing company this year will have nearly $7 million in customer billings and at any one time will have between 400 and 550 workers placed at area companies.

Angelo’s sister, Kim Gabriel, started the company in 2005 with only a receptionist. Today, Career Advantage has 14 office workers.

Angelo attributed the rapid growth to persistence in developing relationships with customers and the fact that it’s a family-run business.

“Our customers have access to the owners seven days a week,” he said.

Career Advantage has expanded beyond its original office in Boardman with an office in Warren and four Pennsylvania locations. Angelo said offices are being considered in Columbiana County and Pittsburgh.

He said his father, Joe Angelo, encouraged his sister to start the business. The elder Angelo has owned several companies in the area, including restaurant, staffing and extermination businesses.

Helen Paes, vice president of business services at the chamber, said it is exciting to see businesses doing well enough to be honored by the chamber.

“Businesses of this caliber will lead the Mahoning Valley in the future,” she said.

shilling@vindy.com

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