Long time business relocates, expands, brings new jobs
|Mike Siaperas stands amongst the dust and construction debris of what will be the new office on Carbon Avenue for Med USA beginning next week.|
Something everyone who knows anything about economic development says is the best thing that can happen to a town: a local business expands and then provides more jobs.
But in the case of MedUSA, it's more than that. It's the story of a home town boy making good in the big city and here as well.
Mike Siaperas spent his youth in Carbon County, graduated from Carbon High School and then went away to the big city to seek his future. There he started a medical billing service which quickly grew and then a short time later moved some of the operation back to his boyhood home.
"In a way we expanded here when we set up the office 14 years ago," said Siaperas as he leaned against a pole in the new digs his company plans to open on Carbon Avenue next week. "There is brutal competition for jobs that we provide in Salt Lake. Often we just get someone trained and another company comes along and takes them away."
The 23 year old company is thriving, just like most of the health care industry is these days. Siaperas says his company almost can't keep up with the requests for services that a PSO (Physician Service Organization) like his provides.
For year the company has been located on Main Street next to the Mecca. They started out with five employees, and now have outgrown that office with 19. That is the reason they are moving into their new building next to the Price Trading Company.
"This is a very stable business for employees we train," states Siaperas. "When we teach them what they need to know they have acquired a clerical trade that can be used almost anywhere. But we like to keep them and that has been hard in Salt Lake."
Siaperas main office in Salt Lake, where he owns some property near South Towne Mall on which he had planned to expand. But after some thought, and some consideration about how hard it is to keep people, he decided to expand the operations here instead.
"Building the business here makes sense because people want good steady jobs and they want to keep them," he said. "Of course I also had to consider the pay scale as well. We actually considered going 'off shore' for our services, but after looking at it this was a better option. We consider Price kind of our 'off shore' operation."
Siaperas also said that the price of real estate in Price was so much lower than building on property he owned in Salt Lake.
"When I looked at building a new building in Salt Lake compared what I could buy an existing building here for and renovate it, there was no contest," he stated.
Right now the company serves physicians in 20 states from Florida to New Jersey to California to Alaska.
"In a year I think we will have accounts in every state," he said.
The company developed its own Practice Management Software some time ago and that has given them the ability to use the web based operation to thrive.
"We have people now buying our software from us," said Siaperas.
Siaperas said one of the other reasons he wanted to move more operations to Price was that the city and Carbon County were very helpful in helping him to do it.
"There are a lot of people to thank," he said. "We got support from much of the community on this."
With some paint, construction and cleaning the facility will open Feb. 1 and will accommodate about 45 employees, over double what he has had in Price in the past.
He hopes in a short time to be able to have over 70 employees working in the building.