This story was originally posted by our friends at PointBlank. Enjoy!
They’ve been through the Big Dig. They’ve welded the New England Patriots’ Gilette Stadium. They have a hand in the University of New Hampshire’s Whittemore Center, where the always terrific hockey team practices and plays. Yet for Rescue Welding Inc., the Great Recession may have been the biggest challenge faced in 25 years as a small welding business.
Just ask Zach Page. He sat down with us in the Somersworth, New Hampshire office he and his father Carl have used for years. Zach has worked at the business since he was young, and now is one of four full-time employees at a company that turns to union help in the field for its major projects. He spoke frankly about how challenging it was for a small, nimble business like Rescue Welding to survive during a time when funding for the kind of major infrastructure projects the company regularly takes on had dried up.
“When it comes to a recession, this industry is the first to feel it and the first to feel a recovery,” he said. “There were two years of pretty much nothing out there.”
Reacting to the slowdown, Rescue Welding recently broke into the fabrication business while remaining, as Page put it, “as lean as humanly possible.”
The good news, as Zach Page notes, is that welding also experiences the rising tide before many other businesses. The company took on the $28 million Chickopee/Holyoke bridge in Massachusetts this summer and have another major project ongoing in Kennebunk, Maine. As infrastructure needs continue to heat up across the United States and in New England in particular, Page is optimistic that business will trend upward as well.
“I expect and hope that the welding sector is beginning to blossom again,” he said.
For now, it’s continuing with the commitment that has allowed Rescue Welding to thrive this long: Detail-oriented work, speed and less overhead than almost all of their competitors. That’s true whether they’re fabricating with steel, welding a bridge or tackling one of a thousand little projects that might come to Somersworth in a given week.
“There’s no such thing as a typical day for us,” Page said, but “we’re able to do what other companies can do with half the time and half the people. Again, it’s efficiency, efficiency, efficiency.”
Photo credit to iStock