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Employees step up to save Elkridge company

Employees step up to save Elkridge company

A paper-thin sheet of polyester thousands of feet long rolled about four miles an hour through a coating machine, filling the space at Elkridge Coating Technologies on Monday afternoon with a steady, low hum. It's the sound of chances taken, a business and jobs saved.

Not exactly what Bill Decker and his two partners necessarily had in mind only months ago, before they owned the place, before two of them had owned any business at all. But there was the opportunity, and they took it, rather than see the operation shut down, taking 20 jobs with it.

"You don't get a chance to do something like this very … often," said Decker, 57, a chemical engineer by training who...