Photo: TRC Board Member Cathy Glad, TRC Vice President Tanya Chaney, Joe and Dan LaCarte, TRC Director Gina C. Lynn
February Business of the Month – Model Cleaners
A cattle farmer helped prod his company into a model of success. In 1986, Jack LaCarte purchased Model Cleaners, a mom-and-pop dry cleaning operation on Lincoln Avenue in Charleroi, his hometown. Then he pressed on, revamping the firm over time by bringing in his eldest son, John; opening other shops; adding the other four sons; expanding services; buying two chains; and employing state of- the art equipment and technology. Three and a half decades later, Model Cleaners is no longer a tiny shop with eight employees but a chain with 15 locations, over 50 trucks that services many business accounts and residential accounts all throughout the Tri-state region and a workforce of 250 Model family members. It’s still in Charleroi, at 100 Third St., a long pass from old Cougar Stadium.
But it is light years from the shop that opened in 1930. “We try to come up with creative ways to put a new spin on an old business,” said Dan LaCarte, President of Model Dry-Cleaning Division.That creativity was necessary for a company that now handles an estimated 55,000 pieces of clothing a week.
Model cleans all types of garments, including finest garments such as wedding dresses and suits to heaps of industrial work clothes, to entry mats. Large 350 pound washers, dryers and automated assembly systems are sprinkled throughout the 65,000-squarefoot Charleroi plant.
Jack and Mary LaCarte’s boys essentially run things, but the father, Jack 76, is still involved. A family that dry cleans together stays together. John 53, President of LaCarte Enterprises and Dan ,39, are complemented by the three middle brothers: Mike, 52, the chief financial officer; Dave, 51 President of apparel; and Joe, 47, president of uniform rental. The company has survived over the years through diversity. Among the divisions that Model operates are Dry-cleaning, Uniform rental, Apparel, Industrial Real Estate and most recently acquiring Stoney’s Brewing Company back in 2017.
“The Mon-Valley is a very special place for our entire family” claims Joe LaCarte. “When my father was a cattle farmer our family lost everything on that farm in1979, the Mon-Valley was a place that gave our family a fresh start, a place that kept my brothers and I together and a place that we have been able to employ many special Model family members over the years. It is neat to see how far we have come and how far we can go if we all stick together.” added Joe LaCarte. For more information, visit https://modelcleaners.com/
Photo: TRC Board Member Cathy Glad, Darla Cain, Valerie Beck & Lindsay Buches-Cann of NovaCare, TRC Board Member Laura Williams
January Business of the Month – NovaCare Physical Therapy
NovaCare Physical Therapy located at 734 Rostraver Road in the Aldi’s Plaza. We have been a member of the Mon Valley Community for over ten years.
NovaCare offers a physical therapy experience like no other. We specialize in Orthopedics, Workers Compensation, Functional Capacity Evaluations, Pre-employment screenings, Vestibular, Balance Disorders, and Pediatrics. Our mission is to provide an environment where patients feel comfortable asking questions, receive hands on care for their conditions, and gain a personalized experience tailored to their specific needs. We offer flexibility with scheduling with daytime and evening hours and accept most insurance providers. For more information, visit https://www.novacare.com/