Scranton Manufacturing Paving the Way for the Manufacturing Industry in Rural Iowa for 48 Years

Scranton Manufacturing Paving the Way for the Manufacturing Industry in Rural Iowa for 48 Years Main Photo

5 Nov 2019

What started as a three-farmer operation has now grown into a business that offers several services, including their huge refuse truck business, New Way. This family-owned company has been in business in one way or another for 48 years. Located in Scranton, Iowa, New Way is committed to the waste industry providing innovation, quality, and customer satisfaction. New Way has become one of the biggest garbage truck manufacturing companies within the United States. 

Michael McLaughlin, is the current CEO of Scranton Manufacturing. His father, John McLaughlin and a two other investors originally started the business in 1971 building agriculture equipment such as cattle gates, round bale feeders, and trailers in Scranton, Iowa. They were farmers at the time and needed gates for their farms. There was a small manufacturing company on main street downtown Scranton. They purchased the building and began building gates for themselves and others. The business grew quickly and was very successful until the farm crisis hit in the 1980s. 

Looking for alternative items to manufacture in order to survive, in 1984 John McLaughlin came across a small company in Des Moines that built garbage trucks called New Way. They acquired this company and learned how to manufacture these garbage trucks. Now New Way has grown to be the third-largest refuse truck manufacturer in the United States. But Scranton Manufacturing has become so much more than New Way over the years thanks to the persistence of CEO Mike McLaughlin, Jim Ober the Vice President of Operations, and the rest of their hard-working team.

Since then, New Way has expanded to include K-Pac self-contained compactors and a New Way Fleet Force, which is a garbage truck rental company that will rent trucks throughout the country. Along with New Way, Scranton Manufacturing has also acquired a fiberglass operation in Lake City, Bowie International, which provides mobile vet clinics for large animals, an animal control equipment company, a couple Napa Auto Parts stores called Fast Lane Motor Parts in Jefferson and Coon Rapids, and New Way Ford dealership located in Coon Rapids as well as New Way Auto in Jefferson. They also have an international partnership in Mexico to build products for Central and South America markets.

New Way combined with the other businesses in the McLaughlin Family Companies group employs close to 500 full time people and has went through six expansions. Scranton Manufacturing with it’s strong customer demand is on the lookout for additional team members to help with the continuing growth of the company. They have been working with local high schools to provide informational tours, hands on training and supplying materials and equipment to support the skill advancement and awareness of career opportunities in the area. 

Scranton Manufacturing has also teamed up with Greene County Community School District which is creating a career academy in partnership with Iowa Central Community College focused on providing the foundation for students to develop real world skills that are in high demand in the local area.  Scranton Manufacturing has hired an experienced instructor who will be both an employee of the company and an instructor at the career academy for the program of Advanced Manufacturing. This is meant to bridge the gap between knowing the job and teaching it to the students, which will ultimately make students better prepared to enter the manufacturing workforce.

Jim loves being located in rural Iowa stating that the community, hard-work ethic of the people, and strong sense of family make living in Greene County very enjoyable. Scranton is an eclectic group of businesses that bring people from all over the world to their facility. The small-town rural community is a very unique experience to these companies that come to visit, and they always leave fully impressed by the hard-working employees as well as the small-town hospitality and charm.

Scranton Manufacturing started with three farmers, a small manufacturing company, and a dream. It has since turned into an impressive collection of businesses located in rural Iowa which does business locally, nationally, and internationally. Scranton Manufacturing continues to find new and innovative ways to help the local and national economy and has committed to helping younger generations know how to thrive in the Manufacturing Industry, showing just how unique this business really is. Click here to visit their website and learn more about their products and services.