The Birthplace of Latrobe Anyone who knows me knows my passion for manufacturing. Ask me what I love and I’ll gladly share my strange fetish for the smell of metal & hydraulic fluid or the sound of machines & grinding wheels. So I thought it was strange when I was offered a job in my then-employer’s corporate office in Latrobe, PA. Not only was I leaving my comfort zone in my work environment, but I was also leaving my comfort zone in my cultural and social circle…
In 2005, we moved to Appalachia (western PA and WV). I grew up in AR, but this was the coldest, oldest, grayest place I had ever lived. However, this move was by divine order. (Later I would understand God’s plan for taking us out of our comfort zone and putting us in a place so remotely foreign that we would start to seek him.) By divine order, I mean that everything fell into place: home, childcare, support network. We had a change in lifestyle and an increase in social status.
In order to accommodate our two career family, we decided to split the commute. James drove south 1.5 hours daily to work in WV and I drove 2.0 hours north. We left home at dark, returned at dark, and barely had time for dinner and homework before it was time to get ready for the next day. And to add to this, we were both working on terminal degrees. We lived for the weekends, which quickly became consumed with Quincy’s activities.
Fastforward to 2009: During the economic downturn, my company responded by asking all employees to take 10% paycuts and monthly furloughs. Financially, we did not miss it. Actually, I discovered we could get by on a lot less. And I enjoyed being home with Quincy. I started reading my bible more, which lead me to start seeking my divine purpose. My scripture, according to Matthew 7:7: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.
By this time, I was over the commute, over leaving my child very early every morning, over corporate America, and over seeking the C-suite. I desired a career that required me to visit a manufacturing shop. I believe in American manufacturing and its importance in sustaining the middle class economy.
For over four years, I passed the sign welcoming me to Latrobe and one day in 2009 it finally dawned on me that God brought us to Latrobe so that I could hear His voice and understand His vision for my life. So this became the birthplace for LaTRobe (Latanyua T. Robinson Enterprise).
Jeremiah 29:11-For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. As I began to pray and seek the word, He began to reveal things. And I started to visualize how God was using me to witness to others of His goodness. How else could a girl child from AR, born to a single-teenaged mother, rise up and become devoted to job creation, especially in the industrial manufacturing sector? His word to me, according to Proverbs 3:5-6: Trust in the Lord, with all of your heart and lean not unto your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your path.
Everyone who knows me also knows that James keeps me grounded. I was ready to walk away from my job in January 2010, but James said, “Hold up! Girls from Stuttgart don’t just walk away from six-figure jobs to pursue a dream. You have to have a plan and revenue flow before you can quit, retire, etc.”
P.U.S.H. and things just started happening. I started meeting people and getting invited to events. One day, a former colleague called and asked if I could help him with some consulting; in turn, he would help me tweak and execute my business plan for LaTRobe.
On August 23, 2010, two days before my 40th birthday, I was able to announce my retirement from corporate America so that I could pursue my destined purpose. Through God, I had done what I had to do until I could do what I want to do. Mark 11: 24—whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
LaTRobe is dedicated to job creation in industrial manufacturing. We assist local manufacturers in competing globally by providing contract manufacturing, process engineering, and strategic marketing services. Phase 1-contract services. Phase 2-intellectual property. Phase 3-asset ownership. We will provide jobs that support advanced energy and defense technologies. According to Romans 4:17: call on those things that are not as though they are!!!