E.L. Robinson Engineering opens Ironton office, hires Cade

Published 12:00 am Sunday, August 17, 2003

One of the largest civil engineering and architectural firms in the Ohio Valley has located a regional office in the city of Ironton.

E.L. Robinson Engineering Company has opened a branch office in the former Bank Ohio building on 111 South Third Street. The Ironton office currently employs three people and is expected to have 12 more employees by the end of the year.

Ironton Economic Development Director Matt Ward said firm representatives signed the lease for the building a week to two weeks ago and has since opened for business. When employees finish settling in, Ward said they may have an open house in October or November.

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Lawrence County resident Doug Cade will be the Ironton site manager for the company that opened its first location in Charleston, W.Va., 25 years ago. Other locations include Chapmanville, W.Va., Weirton, W.Va., Mineral Wells, W.Va. and Dublin. Cade is also new to the company, and said he was selected because his residency makes him a good fit for the office.

"There is so much opportunity in Southern Ohio and Eastern Kentucky in regards to economic development that Ironton was the right location for any engineering company," Cade said. "The forecast for capital improvements in our region make an ideal fit for E.L. Robinson to locate an office and provide architectural and engineering services for a broad spectrum of municipal, industrial and commercial clients.'

"While other locations could have served our needs, the willingness of Mayor Bob Cleary and the proactive measures made by his staff, Ironton was the natural choice for E. L. Robinson."

Also, Ironton is located in what is defined by the federal government as a Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUB), Cade said. When firms like E.L. Robinson try to get a government contract, being part of a HUB means that firms will gain additional points when government officials are deciding whether or not they get the project. The new location being a part of the Huntington-Ironton Empowerment Zone attracted the firm to Ironton as well.

The new office also puts E.L. Robinson close to one of their projects. Cade said the firm is doing the approach and pier designs for the new Ironton-Russell Bridge.

City officials were pleased with the firm opening an office in Ironton.

"It is wonderful to have such a highly respected business to open up an office in our downtown business district," Cleary said. "E.L. Robinson will bring a lot of experience and expertise to our region."

"This is another step in the right direction for Ironton," Ward said. "It is really an honor for Ironton to be selected for such a highly respected and top class company as E.L. Robinson. I think this says a lot regarding the efforts the mayor has made in targeting and revitalizing the downtown business district."