Courtesy Photo

Craig Weber celebrates 50 years with Scotchman Industries

Craig Weber graduated high school in May of ’73 and joined Scotchman Industries on Sept 11th of the same year.  Fifty years later, he is still a valued part of Scotchman.  Amazing dedication!
When Craig started, the company had been manufacturing the 314 Dvorak ironworker for only six years.  Portable corrals and auto gates were still in production.  Little Scotchman was housed in the original bowling alley, with an addition to the north – this space currently is the office and the shop demo area. (appx 20,000 sq feet).  Through the years there have been numerous building additions and today, we have appx 109,000 sq feet. 
The machines were painted offsite in a building south of Kennedy Implement.  That building burned down in 1974 and the warehouse across the street to the east was built to house the welding and paint dept, along with the portable corral assembly.  There were appx 15-20 people working at that time.  Working conditions were very different – with no a/c and no computers.
Through his 50 years at Scotchman, Craig has worked many aspects of the factory – preparing machines for painting, wiring motors and switch boxes, welding, final assembly and shipping before eventually moving to production planning and inventory control department where he resides today.  
After 50 years of service, Craig has decided that’s enough.  On Sept 21st of this year, he will start the next chapter in his life, retirement. When asked what he was going to do in retirement, he said he plans to sleep in until 6 or 7am and take long lunches.  Starting next year, Craig plans to see the Chicago Cubs play in every baseball park.  He figures that will take 4 or 5 years.
Craig will fill up the rest of his time with golf (when the weather is nice), hunting in the fall, fishing in the spring.  Starting in 2024, he plans to go south every year for the month of January.  As you can tell, Craig has put some thought into his future.  
Brad Heltzel, Factory Superintendent says   “It’s been a pleasure working with Hopper over the years!  He is always willing to go the extra mile.  I know when there is a question about where something is or what certain parts are used for, it’s a good idea to ask the guy that has been here for a half century!  We will definitely miss Hopper around here and we wish him well in his retirement.”
Jason Harry, co-worker, says “Hopper is a great guy to work with and a good friend to have. Always willing to lend a helping hand to get things done. Turn him loose on a project and there is no need to worry about it getting done. He won’t stop until it’s finished. If he’s not in the office shuffling paperwork he can be found cycle counting. We’ve had many memorable softball trips over the years as well. I’m going to miss seeing him at work every day!”
Jerry Kroetch, President of Scotchman says “Craig has been an important part of our team for many, many years.  He has helped build Scotchman into the company it is today. We will miss his easy going, friendly personality and willingness to do whatever it takes to get the job done.  Hopper, it’s been a pleasure to work with you.  We will miss you here, at the factory, and wish you well.  Thank you for your past 50 years of Service and enjoy your well-earned retirement!”

The Pioneer Review

221 E. Oak Street
Philip, SD 57567
Telephone: (605) 859-2516
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