PARKERSBURG -Murray Sheet Metal Co. was host to students from the Mid-Ohio Valley Technical Institute senior class Thursday.
The students were shown how to maintain a successful career in the contracting, welding and construction industry. Randy Rogers, vice president to the company for less than a year, said the field trip was to show interested students what the company is about.
Rogers graduated from Ohio University with a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering.
Photo by Mandi Cardosi
The Mid-Ohio Valley Technical Institute senior class with Murray Sheet Metal Vice President Randy Rogers stand in front of the sign acknowledging the shop has been accident-free for three years.
"Our emphasis here is to try to promote young people into considering the construction trades as a career," he said. "We don't see as many young people entering into these construction trades."
Rogers said although the man behind the sheet metal company, Jack Murray, passed away earlier this year, the legacy he left with his company continues to grow. Murray founded the Parkersburg company in 1961 and continued ownership for more than 40 years.
Chris Campbell bought the company of about 90 workers in 2005 when he hired Rogers as general manager, he said.
In 2011, employees celebrated the 50th anniversary of operations.
"Not many businesses can say they've been around for more than 50 years," said Rogers. "From my understanding, Jack Murray started Murray Sheet Metal just fabricating things out of his garage and it grew into a business."
Office manager Karen Henline said the company has thrived from Rogers' leadership role as well as leadership within the company.
Although Rogers does not like to brag about doing his job, his employees believe him to be a crucial asset to the 48,000-square-foot shop.
"Under his leadership and being the general manager, the last several years we've been very successful," Henline said. "He's being humble."
Rogers and Henline said the company is licensed across West Virginia, Ohio and Kentucky. Rogers praised staff members who have taken on leadership roles.
"We are fortunate to have strong and resourceful leadership," he said. "That has helped us grow and sustain the way we have."
Rogers praised his employees, saying the company has a lot of talented people - fabricators, installers and technicians - who are good at what they do. He said many of the workers are veterans of the trade, so it would be nice to see young people interested in those career paths too.
The company has gone three years without a work-related injury shutting down the plant.
Rogers said executives recognize employees for the safety performance they convey and for paying attention in potentially dangerous situations.
"We work at heights, roofing and industrial or commercial work," he said. "It's a lot of elevated work."