Building for the Oil Patch | VideoAlex Hagan | 7/16/2012
Employees at Steffes Corporation near Dickinson are constantly welding and putting together parts for the oil industry. For the past five years, that has been the majority of their work.
"Steffes got started in the latest oil boom doing oil tanks, that was about five years ago, and since then, we`ve grown to doing separating devices, and our latest product is an engineered flare," said New Product Manager Todd Mayer.
The company used to focus more on agriculture products but that`s on the back burner in order to meet the demand for a different industry.
"We have people here that are doing all kinds of things, from cutting steel, welding steel, painting steel, assembling the products, testing the product," said Mayer.
And that means there is a need for more employees.
"Prior to March of `07 we were making agriculture bins in this facility. We had an employment staff of about five people. Since then, we`ve went to these oil tanks and we have a production staff of 40 people," said Corporation Production Manager Randy Emter.
The housing crunch affects that need but the company is doing what it can to house potential employees.
"Steffes has been able to purchase a house and a trailer house, we have some apartments that we sublet to some of our employees that are having a difficult time finding housing," said Emter.
Growing pains come with the demand, but Steffes employees say the benefits outweigh the negatives.
"We`re able to buy and purchase new equipment for our employees to work with. That makes us that much more efficient, and we wouldn`t be able to do that if we didn`t have the sales related to oil right now," said Emter.
Manufacturing companies are much busier than they used to be but for corporations like Steffes, that workload is a huge positive.