I’ve never been involved in politics, but like most people, it’s hard to avoid the ads across our TVs. I assume most of the negative attacks are false, but I saw one last week that takes the cake. Chris Deluzio and his special interest supporters are running an ad that says Jeremy Shaffer created a company that shipped jobs to China. There isn’t one accurate statement in that ad.
In 2003, Jeremy and I were students at Carnegie Mellon University when we started a company in our college apartment. We were developing software to make bridges and infrastructure safer. We had ups and downs and lots of long nights, but after a few years, we got our first big customer. We opened an office in Allegheny County. For nine years, the two of us built this company up from scratch. We created dozens of jobs right here in western PA with an average salary of $75,000 per year.
Our business is a true Pennsylvania small business success story, which is why the attacks are so disheartening. Our company did 98% of its business in America and every single one of our employees was based in the U.S. In fact, the only clients we had outside of the United States were in Africa and Australia.
We were approached by a company that wanted to purchase our business. It wanted to move our business outside of western, PA. We refused. This was our home and our employees’ home. We stayed right where we wanted to be. Eventually, we sold our business to another Pennsylvania success story, Bentley Systems, which has been headquartered in our great Commonwealth since 1982. All of the jobs at our original company were kept right here in western PA.
Why Mr. Deluzio decided he wanted to attack two Pennsylvania companies in an attempt to score political points, I don’t know, but it’s disrespectful to the hard work that went into this and the men and women that have made a career right here in Pennsylvania. Jeremy and I started a company here to give back, create jobs, and solve a problem. Our team is paid well and every single one of them worked right here in western Pennsylvania.
This is the problem with politics today. People say anything to get elected with no regard for the truth. They hope their 30-second attack ads are all voters will ever know of the issue. I’m hoping a few people will read this and know the truth about Jeremy Shaffer and my company.
I’m proud of the work that Jeremy and I did in creating our business and growing it from nothing to what it is. I’m proud of the jobs that we created right here in western Pennsylvania. I’m proud of our employees that worked hard to make infrastructure better in this country. It is vital that we deal in facts. The fact is that Jeremy created a great Pennsylvania business. The fact is that Jeremy created jobs right here in Pennsylvania. The fact is that the vast majority of all work that Jeremy did was right here in America.
Mike Schellhase, Fox Chapel