Advance Testing Company, Inc. was founded by James P. Smith, Jr., a highly respected materials testing technician. Jim started his career with Ward Pavements of Haverstraw, New York, and later moved to Plaza Materials Co., a subsidiary of Yonkers Contracting. While at Plaza Jim developed his business skills and worked his way up to Chief Quality Control Technician.
Jim left Plaza Materials in 1984 and with his station wagon and some credit cards, took up residence in a condo in Beacon, NY and created Advance Testing Company. From here Jim would run the entire company for a time until Advance Testing could afford to rent a building.
In 1985 Advance Testing rented a modest but practical building on Ruscitti Road in Newburgh, New York, and began to establish itself as a serious competitor for materials testing contracts in the Mid Hudson region. For the next 8 years Advance Testing managed all of its work from this location. During that time the amount of work steadily increased, and Advance Testing saw its employees grow from a mere handful of 3-4 individuals to as many as 40 during peak construction season. From construction on the Walkill Plaza in Middletown, NY to the development of the Army National Guard's new hangers and aprons at Stewart Airport to house the C-5A transports, Advance Testing was in the field and in the lab working around the clock to support the needs of the industry.
With the increase in workload, Jim saw that Advance Testing needed a
continuing commitment to its personnel and instituted an aggressive
training schedule for all employees, while continuing to be involved in
training presentations himself through the FAA's Eastern Region Seminars.
As a result the core staff of Advance Testing became more
multi-disciplined and experienced in a variety of materials testing
fields, which enabled Advance Testing to expand its base of services. As
its staff became more widely known in the construction industry the
reputation of the firm grew, enabling Advance Testing to seek even more
work in more areas.
As a result of
Advance Testing's continued success and growth, by 1994 it was obvious that the company had outgrown its quarters and a new location was discovered in rural Campbell Hall, New York. From the new location Advance Testing was able to more fully realize its potential to fulfill the needs of its growing base of clients. A new lab was installed in the basement of the building and new offices and conference rooms quickly filled the bulk of the house.
It was during this time that the FHWA sponsored the Superpave program (a new and improved system of designing HMA pavements). Talk about QC/QA programs for the HMA industry (a new system for inspection of HMA pavements during production and placement) was taking the industry by storm, and Jim saw an immediate benefit in being an early adopter of many of the technological advances and ideas spawned by these programs. As a result, Advance Testing was the first private consulting firm in the Northeast to purchase the new gyratory compactor and the new NCAT ignition furnace. Advance Testing also was instrumental in providing technicians to staff New York State's first experimental QC/QA pilot program, and as a result became an early expert in QC/QA programs.
With Advance Testing's continued commitment to training, Jim formed an offshoot company known as Atech Center, Inc. in 1995. Using the latest in computer technology Atech put together a training package for HMA technicians including a custom manual and vivid computer presentations with images, illustrations and animations. This package was then adopted by the NETTCP and Atech was awarded a contract to be the principal training firm for the 6 New England States. Atech has continued to serve the NETTCP in the fields of concrete and soils and aggregates as well, and their relationship continues to grow.
1997 Advance Testing opened its first New England office in West Stockbridge, MA. in order to better serve a contract with MassHighway to perform PCI (Prestressed Concrete Inspection) testing as part of the Central Artery Tunnel project ("Big Dig"). Despite the opening of a new office in New England, back in New York Advance Testing had matured into its new surroundings to the point where expansion was again a necessity.
In 1994 Advance Testing began to weigh different expansion options, ultimately settling on the reconstruction of what had formerly been a "supper club" restaurant/bar/pool resort, whose location was only a hop, skip, and jump away from the Campbell Hall office.
Much thought and effort went into the layout of the new building. By the start of the new millenium, Advance Testing was off and running from its new home.
Advance Testing continues to look toward the future by not only having the best lab in the Northeast but by continuing its commitment to technology in materials testing. We purchase the latest equipment available in the testing field (re: triaxial permeablity cells, direct shear apparatus, lightweight profiler) and keep our staff up-to-date with the latest industry trends and certifications.
Advance Testing has been fortunate to work with some of the best associations, contractors, engineers & architects, agencies, and labs in the Northeast, and we attribute much of our success to the kindness and generosity of our peers. We hope that you will continue to prosper in the new millenium as we have, and that if we mutually strive for excellence in our endeavors we will succeed in whatever ventures we pursue.