Paragon Print Systems specializes in producing labels, tags, business forms and commercial print.

The company started in 1994 by the company's current president Robert Hess and is now located in Erie's Joyce Savocchio Business Park.

"We were a forms company at that time, providing things like business cards, letterheads, invoices," said Paul Aldridge, sales manager.

It grew into an automation identification capture company.

"Basically a company that primarily sells technology that helps you automate your processes within a manufacturing environment, or through a retail environment or within a hospital," said Aldridge.

Aldridge has worked at Paragon for 24 years, helping the company to evolve.

"You may be a manufacturer who needs to put a UPC label on your product to sell in a store," said Aldridge. "You may be a store that also needs to scan that UPC label or maybe you're a warehouse that needs to very quickly be able to process shipments."

Engineered Plastics is one of Paragon's clients.

"It's nice having a local tie with these guys because if there's a problem, we can go right over there," said Kevin Oakes, general manager of Engineered Plastics. "They can come right over here."

Some of Paragon's products are being used in rapid COVID-19 kits that didn't exist before the pandemic, deploying them to different parts of the nation.

The company's website - - has allowed for that reach.

Paragon also operates a satellite office inside the Erie Intermodal Center, which is where the hub of the company's web presence is located. It is allowing the company to expand into the next wave of technology - radio frequency identification.

"That is transmitting a label where you no longer need to point a scanner or a barcode to read the information but rather an RFID reader that is reading a label basically transmitting a radio frequency," said Aldridge.