Lax Fabricating plans expansion of company in Spring Grove

By Jordan Gerard

More jobs could become available at Lax Fabricating’s location in Spring Grove from the results of an expansion.

The company plans to grow in size from small to medium, Lax Fabricating President John (JD) Mitchell said.

“We realize that operating with a small company mentality wasn’t going to keep working,” he said. “We basically need to hire more people to move to the next level and with that, hire more support staff such as purchasing, shipping and receiving.”

The company also plans to hold an open house on Dec. 15, from 9 a.m. to noon so the public can see the new expansion and products the company makes.

Lax Fabricating has a sister office in Waukesha, Wisconsin that serves as the sales and engineering house for their equipment. The Spring Grove location was established in 2008.

“They supply us with a percent of our business, and we go chase down the rest,” Mitchell said.

Lax Fabricating is a steel fabricator and custom job shop. They make equipment for frac sand mining, asphalt tanks, conveyor companies, power plants, car companies such as Mercedes Benz, BMW and Volvo; and buildings like Walgreens or Wal-Mart.

They also make smaller items such as railings, beams, snow pushers and tee markers for golf courses.

In addition to large projects, the company has also built holding tanks for Spring Grove Soda Pop, Inc. and made the fencing on the west side of the Spring Grove Cinema.

They also have a farm and ranch line and made barges for the Army Corps of Engineers to use for dredging.

A facet of the expansion is the company was able to buy the building this year instead of continuing to rent.

“We committed to buying the building,” Mitchell said. “We had a record year and a lot of growing pains.”

The company reorganized itself and hired a new plant manager. They also hired six to eight people this summer, including two high students and one high school graduate.

Mitchell said he hopes to set up a work-study program with the school for students to explore welding and manufacturing jobs.

“We seem to hire people from all directions,” he added. “There’s a 40-mile circle around us and most of our employees come from there.”

Mitchell said the main goal with the reorganization process is to double the size of the company within three years.

The company sells its products on a national and international level.

Much of the company’s workforce includes welders. Lax Fabricating can also certify their own employees to get their welding certification. The company may also hire its own electrician to wire the equipment like ovens.

Mitchell said he could see the company needing another eight to 10 employees by the end of next year. The company also plans to buy more automated equipment to create its products.