Portable Solutions Group

Blast Modules built by Portable Solutions in Worthington, designed to provide protection from explosions. KEVIN GOLDY | THE DAILY INDEPENDENT

WORTHINGTON A Greenup County business has secured a contract with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, creating up to 30 full-time jobs.

DropBox, Inc. has entered into an approximately $2.15 million contract with the DHS Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction Office. A release from the company states that the contract calls for DropBox to produce and deliver multiple specially engineered and designed shipping container modifications, known as the On-Dock Rail Straddle Carrier Portal.

The specialized container-based scanning units will be positioned at U.S. ports and will be deployed specifically to scan incoming overseas shipping containers for nuclear material that can be found in “dirty bombs” and/or other potential weapons of mass destruction.

“I’m pretty excited about it. I’m excited about the jobs that it’ll create,” said Robert Rhett Slagel, President & CEO of Portable Solutions Group—the parent company of DropBox.

Slagel said the company is actively hiring welders and carpenters for the project, noting employees will be brought on as needed. Once in full production he said around 130 to 140 employees in total will be employed at DropBox.

Slagel said materials for the project have already been ordered and that many will be purchased locally. He estimated work would begin on the project by the end of this month.

“We congratulate DropBox, Inc. on this significant DHS contract award, and we thank the company for its commitment to the commonwealth in acquiring its facility in Wurtland,” said Gov. Matt Bevin. “Not only will this project create quality jobs in Northeast Kentucky, it will play a key role in keeping Americans safe at our international ports of entry. We are proud that a Kentucky company is supporting this vitally important effort, even as we further solidify our reputation as the nation’s center for engineering and manufacturing excellence.”

U.S. Senator Rand Paul said he was impressed with the success of the business on a recent visit to the business.

“As a strong supporter of Right to Work, it’s always exciting to see companies economically benefit and create more jobs here in the Commonwealth due to business-friendly policies and getting government out of the way,” he said.

According to the release, the development project has been a nearly decade-long development process between DropBox and the DHS. DropBox’s path to securing the contract began in 2010 when it was selected to build a prototype for the Savannah River National Laboratory in Aiken, SC.

The release explains that the DropBox carrier portal streamlines the current shipping container-scanning process at U.S. ports by reducing the need to stop and place a selected container on the ground for manual hand-wand scanning. With the carrier portal, both the straddle carrier and shipping container can pass through the carrier portal’s high-tech, automated scanner tunnel on their way to the railroad car or truck making the process flow continuous and seamless.

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radkins@dailyindependent.com