OLEAN — Southern Tier Security, the area’s only Southern Tier-based certified guard, watch and patrol service company, has a new workspace and training area.

Coming together at the office for a ribbon-cutting event Thursday evening were Schneider, his family, some guards, clients and Chautauqua County executive George Borrello and District 8 Cattaraugus County Legislator Frank Higgins.

“We’re happy to say that things are progressing well and the company is moving along as expected,” said Southern Tier Security president Mike Schneider during his opening remarks.

“This is kind of the dream; owning your own business,” said Borrello during his visit. “Building a business and employing people, being your own boss and then setting up future generations is what we all want.”

Initially run from cramped offices built onto Schneider’s home, the three-year-old business has officially expanded to include a separate location, including a reception area and four new desks to accommodate their expanding caseload.

“It gives our staff mobility,” Schneider said. “We’ve been working just as a home-based business and now we’ve decided to make that plunge and open up an office here in Olean. We’re looking forward to having more room so we’re not on top of each other.”

Southern Tier Security is a New York State certified guard/watch patrol agency. They provide third-party contracts to clients who need security enforcement or investigation, concert, parking lot and retail security.

Located at 125 S. Union St., Southern Tier Security will officially open its doors on Monday, where prospective clients can visit and where guard training sessions can be held.

“Now all the guards around here can do their training locally instead of driving up to the training area in Buffalo,” he said, adding the business keeps roughly 20 to 25 guards on their payroll.

Each member of Schneider’s seven employees are medically trained in CPR/AED and First Aid, and every Southern Tier Security guard receives annual HIPPA, blood-born pathogen and sexual harassment training. All armed guards qualify on their weapons at least three times each year, exceeding the one annual requirement by the state.

As a United States Air Force veteran who served during Desert Storm, Schneider remains dedicated to finding opportunities for disabled veterans through Southern Tier Security.

“New York State is required to give out a certain number of contracts to disabled veterans-owned companies, so we have that opportunity to increase our revenue because of that,” he said. “And that’s one of the things we look at. We try and employ prior military and get the disabled veterans that can work back into the workforce.”

In addition to celebrating the opening of their new office, Southern Tier Security also noted their largest contract yet.

“This weekend we were contracted by Seneca Niagara Casino for a concert on Friday and Saturday night for the MC Hammer block party and rock concert. We’ve got about 60 guards going up there for tomorrow and Saturday.”

Schneider, his staff and family left for Niagara Falls shortly after the ceremony to finalize organization on the concert contract.

As demand for more and more guard services and training expands, Schneider travels around the state, from Clymer to Utica, to meet clients and recruit prospective guards, some of whom will soon be able to train at the new Olean office.

“We’re growing the business, which this building and this area both give us a lot of opportunities for growth,” he said.

More information on Southern Tier Security can be found on their website at southerntiersecurity.net/index.html.