Chester County Briefs: Fire Companies Help in Lancaster, Frontline Acquires Teachscape, Company Ordered to Pay for Bathroom Breaks, and Vishay Acquires Stress-Tek

Fire companies from three counties battle the blaze at a Lancaster clock maker's shop.--via Vinny Tennis, Daily Local News.

Briefs are concise reports on what’s happening around Chester County. For this morning:

Chester County Fire Companies Help Out with Clock Shop Blaze

It took the combined efforts of firefighters from three counties to bring under control and finally extinguish a fiercely burning fire that destroyed a woodworking shop and a clock shop in eastern Lancaster County.

The blaze that broke out on Tuesday around 10 a.m. at 2414 Conestoga Creek Road in Narvon required the efforts of around 125 firefighters from Chester, Lancaster, and Berks counties working together to finally bring it under control, with the entire process taking until well into the afternoon.

While the cause of the fire has not yet been determined, investigators have already discovered that the fire started at the rear of the building near an outdoor furnace.

Despite the cold weather, the firefighting effort went well, stated Caernarvon Fire Company Assistant Chief, Dwayne Fisher praising the efforts of the combined firefighting effort.

Frontline Technologies to Acquire Teachscape

A leader in K-12 Education Technology, Malvern based Frontline Technologies, has signed a definitive agreement with Teachscape to acquire the assets and customer base of the professional development solutions provider for K-12 and higher education.

With this acquisition, Frontline’s expanding professional growth and human resources solutions portfolio will be enhanced by Teachscape’s instructional practice development solutions giving it a wider range of options.

Frontline Technologies will improve its solution development and portfolio breadth by leveraging Teachscape’s professional growth industry knowledge and its unique experience and understanding of the Charlotte Danielson’s Framework for Teaching, versions 2011 and 2013.

“Coupled with the vast experience of the Teachscape team and a shared commitment to K-12 professional growth initiatives, access to the Framework for Teaching made the acquisition an undeniable opportunity for Frontline Technologies,” said Frontline President & CEO, Tim Clifford.

American Future Systems has to Pay Back Wages for Bathroom Breaks

The Malvern based publishing company American Future Systems, also known as Progressive Business Publications, has been given an order by a judge to pay back nearly $1.75 million in wages to over 6,000 employees that it neglected to pay for bathroom or other short breaks.

According to the statement released by the Department of Labor, the company violated the Fair Labor Standards Act by docking the wages of its telemarketers for almost all of the time that was not spent making calls, a process that sometimes brought wages of some of the employees under the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.

“Our company has a liberal break policy of allowing our telemarketers to choose unpaid breaks anytime, for any reason, for as long as they want,” said the Company’s President, Edward Satell. “This flex work policy was greatly valued by many of our employees to handle their personal needs.”

Vishay Acquires Stress-Tek for $20 Million

Vishay Precision Group, the Malvern based company that produces precision sensors and systems for the energy and manufacturing sectors, has acquired Stress-Tek for $20 million. The acquisition also includes real estate valued at around $5.5 million.

Stress-Tek creates gage-based load cells and force measurement systems which are used in many industries, most notably transportation and trucking for timber and refuse among other applications.

Vishay used cash and credit to finance its deal for the Washington state company. The company signed a definitive agreement to acquire Stress-Tek, Inc. on December 14th.

“Stress-Tek is an excellent fit for our onboard weighing product line and we are excited to have them join our company,” said Vishay’s CEO Ziv Shoshani. “We hope to leverage Stress-Tek’s strong reputation and technology to enhance market share and customer recognition for VPG onboard weighing products on a global basis.”

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