Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com)
Sparks fly when the crew gets going at Jamar's cavernous shop on Colalillo Drive in Duluth.
The sounds of sparks and arcs have been filling the shop for a hundred years now.
"Walker Jamar came to town in 1906 and started with an insulation outfit called A.H. Krieger." said Paul Zwak.
Walker Jamar bought the company in 1913 and named it for himself.
From insulation, it added sheet metal work and steel fabrication over the last century.
Today's craftspeople have a wide variety of skills in those media.
"One of the things I love about working here is that there's nothing that I've run into that somebody can't make for you." said Ciny Luoma.
One reason for that is employee dedication and longevity.
Paul Zwak, for example, has been at it for 31 years and worked up from metal worker to manager.
Human resources manager Cindy Luoma feels that type of persistence has helped the now hundred year old company get through today's slow economy.
"We're surviving. We felt the economic downturn just like everyone else but I think our strength is in our parent company, resources and leadership that plans for those types of things."
In the plans right now is a centennial celebration for employees and supporters.
"On April 16th, which is our date of incorporation, we'll be having a ribbon cutting and some other festivities on that day also."
Today, Jamar has jobs from the Iron Range to Green Bay and from Eveleth to Escanaba.
That gives job security to employees like Greg Carlson here as well as old timers like Paul Zwak.
"We continue to grow and diversify and keep up with the constantly changing market and hope to have another one hundred years."
In Duluth, Dave Anderson, KBJR 6 and Range 11.
People interested in careers during Jamar's second century are invited to contact the company's human resources department.