AP NEWS

Federal contract will add 30 jobs at DropBox

February 14, 2019

WORTHINGTON, Ky. — A Greenup County company has signed a $2.15 million contract with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security that will bring an additional 30 jobs to DropBox Inc., according to Robert Slagel, president and chief executive officer of Portable Solutions Group.

Portable Solutions Group is the parent company of Ironton-based DropBox Inc. The company, which has 130 employees, will build two container-based scanning units to detect nuclear materials entering U.S. ports, Slagel said Tuesday.

The On-Dock Rail Straddle Carrier Portal units will take up to 18 weeks to build and could lead to other contracts down the road, Slagel said. Other U.S. ports of entry could use the scanning units, he said.

The scanning units will be installed at Maher Terminals in Elizabeth, New Jersey, to scan incoming shipping containers for dirty bombs or other potential weapons of mass destruction, according to a news release.

The company last week bought the 70,000-square-foot Fletcher Mining building at the Wurtland River Port to accommodate the new employees and production of the scanning units, Slagel said. The building is located on a 12-acre parcel, he said.

The company invested $3 million to buy the site in Wurtland, according to the news release. It had been leasing the property since 2016. DropBox also will buy new equipment to build the scanning units.

“We’re hiring people now,” he said. “We’re mainly looking for welders, but we’re looking for electricians and carpenters, too.” Anyone interested in the jobs can apply at the company’s plant at 801 Scott St. in Wurtland, Kentucky, he said.

“We’ve outgrown our hangar” at the Ashland-Boyd County Airport, Slagel said. “We need both facilities. We’re ordering materials now. It takes a huge amount of steel.”

The contract has been nearly a decade in the making, according to the release. It was spurred by the fact that only 5 percent of all overseas shipping containers entering the country were scanned for radioactive material, according to the release.

The company’s initial scanning unit is in service at the Port of Tacoma in Tacoma, Washington.

“I’d be remiss if I didn’t also recognize our dedicated employees, in particular those individuals whose persistence, positivity and commitment to excellence over these past nine years ultimately were what needed to engineer, design, construct, test and deliver to market this unique security portal — a product that will play a major role in ensuring the safety of the United States and its residents in the immediate years ahead,” Slagel said.

“We’ve outgrown our hangar. ... We need both facilities. We’re ordering materials now. It takes a huge amount of steel.”

Robert Slagel

president and CEO of Portable Solutions Group, parent of DropBox