Local manufacturers partner with CWRU for wind energy research


wind turbine

According to the American Wind Energy Association, “With 60,009 megawatts of wind power capacity installed as of the end of 2012 and more than 13,131 megawatts currently under construction in the U.S., companies large and small see opportunities for expanding into the wind energy market.” To develop innovations that can be approved for use, the industry needs to test and demonstrate products on working turbines.

The Wind Energy Research and Commercialization (WERC) Center at Case Western Reserve University partners with industrial partners Cleveland Electric Laboratories, Lubrizol, Parker Hannifin, Azure Energy, Rockwell Automation, Swiger Coil Systems and William Sopko & Sons. These organizations provided $3 million in funding. Since the projects inception, Sherwin-Williams and Northern Power Systems have joined to facilitate industry growth in the wind energy product market.

The center is comprised of three wind turbines as part of the $3-million Ohio Development Services Agency Third Frontier Wright Project. Two of the three turbines are located in Euclid, Ohio, on the campus of William Sopko & Sons. The largest turbine rises 230 feet and generates 1 megawatt that provides power to adjacent Stamco Industries. The intermediate-sized turbine powers Sopko & Sons, while the third and smallest is on CWRU’s campus and powers The Veale Convocation, Athletic and Recreation Center with more than 55,000 killowatts or 5 percent of what the center uses. A large turbine can produce 5 megawatts, enough to power more than 1,400 homes per year.

According to David Matthiesen, WERC faculty director, “The project combines CWRU engineering expertise with funded facilities to provide platforms for the development of wind power supply chain products and long-term educational and training opportunities. In addition to the research data being gathered, the turbines provide energy to nearby buildings.” The manufacturers involved incur no installation, maintenance or disposal costs.     

nordex-n54-and-vestas-v27-turbines Wind turbine on William Sopko & Sons property

Happy Holidays! We will be open our normal hours during the holidays.

Blue holiday ornaments


Happy Holidays from everyone at HGR Industrial Surplus to you and yours! May the season be bright, peaceful and full of blessings.

Because Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day fall on weekends this year, we will be open as normal Monday through Friday both weeks from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

You still have time for some gift shopping — for others or for yourself!

We’re closing early on Dec. 16

holiday office party with Santa hatsOn Dec. 16, HGR Industrial Surplus will be closing promptly at 3 p.m. so that our employees can have their holiday office party! Thank you for understanding and letting us spend some time together having some holiday spirit and sharing laughter and gifts. We are collecting nonperishable food donations from our employees to help out those in need. May you enjoy your holiday preparations this weekend and remember others during this season of giving.


An update on HGR’s 2015 manufacturing scholarship recipient

Jon Berkel Elyria Foundry
(photo courtesy of Elyria Foundry)

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Jonathan Berkel, 2015 HGR Industrial Surplus Manufacturing Scholarship recipient)

Ever since I received the manufacturing scholarship from HGR Industrial Surplus in 2015 and graduated from Elyria High School and Lorain County JVS where I studied welding and fabrication, I have been furthering my education at Lorain County Community College to earn an associate of science degree. In fall 2017, I will be transferring to The Ohio State University to earn my bachelor’s degree in welding engineering.

For the past year and half at Lorain County Community College I have been taking classes in math, science, English and general education that will transfer to The Ohio State University. These courses will prepare me for future courses that I will take in order to pursue my degree.

While attending classes, I work part-time, and I work full-time when classes are not in session at Elyria Pattern Co., since I graduated high school as a welder and a pattern maker. I do a little bit of everything. I am working on some projects for Elyria Foundry. I also have been working on frames for the base of the patterns. These frames go on the base of the pattern to give the base stronger support.

I would like wish all the 2017 scholarship nominees good luck.

Jon Berkel welding
(Jonathan welding)

Stakeholders gather at Cleveland Workforce Summit to formulate a workforce-development plan

Cleveland Workforce Summit

On Monday, Dec. 12, a roomful of manufacturers, educators, political leaders, nonprofits and others gathered, according to Jason Drake of the WorkRoom Alliance Program, “to initiate a discussion about curriculum and programming in the service of workforce and to start developing a strategic plan that will help refill the talent pipeline for local companies.” He adds that “our ultimate goal is to bring as many local, state and federal assets into alignment to support an educational program for public schools that emphasizes foundational mechanical skills, career awareness and counseling, robust and diverse work-based learning experiences in career clusters with significant opportunities available in the local job market, and protocols to pave smoother pathways from classrooms to careers.”

WorkRoom Alliance Program is working to create maker spaces as neighborhood cornerstones in order to upskill and reskill youth and adults in the skills needed by manufacturers. The organization is partnering with Cleveland Job Corps, a residential training center with a capacity to house 440 students aged 16-24 where they can go for no-cost technical and academic training for two years with one year of job-placement assistance. The third partner is Dan T. Moore Companies, a portfolio of 18 R&D companies that find and solve unmet industrial needs.

Dan Moore states, “We can’t get enough qualified people with mechanical aptitude to apply for the jobs that there are. And, with manufacturing as the fastest growing component of Ohio’s economy, we need machine operators who can do advanced manufacturing, not engineers.”

The group, with a host of member companies, is seeking to put in place a plan, locally, to introduce students to the foundational skills for a mechanical mindset starting in the fifth grade and continuing through high school and beyond. Its goal is to open a training bay at Cleveland Job Corps with a manufacturing facility and curriculum that align with the local job market’s needs. Job Corps will fully fund the program if Cleveland Workforce Summit partners will supply the equipment. This program will offer pre-apprenticeship training. Students then can go to apprenticeship training programs through organizations such as WIRE-Net and/or college to earn stackable credentials.

Jack Schron of Jergens Inc. adds, “Our goal is to make Northeast Ohio the entrepreneurial maker and manufacturing capital of the country.”

If you are interested in participating as a partner in the Cleveland Workforce Summit, hosting tours for students or supplying equipment, Jason Drake can be reached at jdrake@dantmoore.com.

WorkRoom Program Alliance logo

An update on HGR’s 2016 S.T.E.M. scholarship recipient, Tiffany Moore

woman high jumper

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Tiffany Moore, HGR Industrial Surplus’ 2016 S.T.E.M. scholarship recipient and Ohio Wesleyan freshman)

On Aug. 20, 2016, I said my goodbyes to my family and friends and set forth on a new chapter in my life. I was nervous but excited at the same time. So far, I have been in college for five months, and I have learned more than I could ever imagine. Some of my closest friends are from Ethiopia, West Africa, Pakistan, Tennessee, Chicago, and Boston. We have learned so much about each other and our different backgrounds and are still learning new things every day.

There is about a week left of the fall semester, and I have been doing a great job of staying on top of the college workload. The library has been my best friend. Sometimes, I stay there until 2 a.m. This semester, I took classes that would go toward my general requirements for graduation. Those include, French 110, Beginning Acting, English 105, Journalism 101, and UC 160 (required course for all freshman). I have enjoyed taking these classes and I am looking forward to my spring semester where I will be diving into computer science, French 111, Black World Studies, and Intro to Film.

My favorite class this semester is English. This class has helped me to become more confident in my writing for all of my classes. So far, I have written around 13 papers. That’s almost equivalent to the amount of papers I’ve written over my entire four years of high school. The class that has given me the most trouble is French. In high school I took three years of Spanish; so, I decided to try something different. Since, most of the students in my class has had experience with taking French, we get through the material pretty quickly. However, it takes me more time to retain all of the information. So, throughout the course of the semester I’ve gone to tutoring sessions and also linked up with a few students in my class to help get a better understanding of the material.

On top of being academically successful, I am also a member of the Ohio Wesleyan track and field team. We recently had our first meet in Cleveland at Case Western Reserve University. I participated in the women’s high jump and 200-meter dash. I love being a member of this team, and I am looking forward to seeing how our season turns out.

While being in college I had an opportunity to apply for a summer internship with Rockwell Automation. There are many other internships that I plan on applying for through Ohio Wesleyan that are geared toward computer science majors. I am happy that I chose to continue my education here at Ohio Wesleyan, and I am looking forward to spending my next three years here.

Actress Monica Potter’s heart belongs to Collinwood and manufacturing

Monica Potter

From 1993-2005, I worked for a construction trade newspaper with Monica Potter’s Aunt Sue. I heard office tales about her stunning niece who was doing catalog modeling and commercials and even got to meet her once at some company event or other. I also crossed paths with Monica’s Uncle Bill of Brokaw Inc., an advertising agency, since I had begun my career in advertising.

Fast forward to October 2016 when I heard about Monica’s newest TV venture, “Welcome Back Potter,” a reality TV show on HGTV in which Monica, her mother and her sister work to renovate their family home in the North Collinwood neighborhood of Cleveland, which is right around the corner from my office at HGR Industrial Surplus. I decided to send her a message on Facebook to see about an interview. I figured, “What do I have to lose?” A few days later I got a response basically saying, “Yes.” I messaged her the questions. I got a message back with a phone number. After some phone tag and texts, we chatted for almost an hour. Who knew that she cares so much about manufacturing and a skilled workforce, and is actually doing something about it?

She is a passionate, intelligent, earthy, kind, fun, friendly, infectious person that you immediately want to hang out with for hours over a few double-dirty martinis with blue-cheese stuffed olives. In the first few minutes of our conversation, she jumped right into the nitty gritty of her philosophy, “It’s not about the business or the house but about doing something on a bigger scale, which I have wanted to do since I was 10. My projects can be a catalyst for people in Cleveland to begin a dialogue with government and politicians.” She says that when she opened her second Monica Potter Home store in The Old Arcade in Cleveland, it was timely because she wants to bring back small businesses and jobs to Cleveland but can only do so much; she need everyone’s help – the mayor, councilmen and law enforcement.

I asked her what she wanted to do when she was 10. She tells the story of calling then-Mayor George Voinovich’s office and leaving a message for him through his secretary because she had an idea. She wanted to take the old Memorial School Building in Collinwood where she went to kindergarten and have a place in that building where people could sleep, eat and learn how to do something in order to get a job, graduate, move out and get a house so that their families could be proud of them and they could feed their families.

Monica Potter with her dad and sisterHow did a 10-year-old come to have thoughts like that? It all goes back to her dad. He’s the reason she bought back the family home in Collinwood, started Monica Potter Home and is looking to do even more. He was an inventor, with 78 patents, who made all of his inventions in the basement of their house then started a fishing-lure business on St. Clair Avenue. She was included in his inventing process and tinkering. She says, “I always did small construction and renovation projects with my dad. I was the boy of the family – changing oil, changing tires, building things from nothing.” She worked at the lure business pouring molds, putting in wires and hooks, and packaging. He had an interest in chemistry, biology, medicine and alternative medicine. He experimented with essential oils and other compounds to treat her eczema. Now, she also is inventing and wants to patent her designs and currently works with a chemist to go through formulas to create the bath and beauty products available through Monica Potter Home. Her mother cleaned on the side at Euclid Square Mall and would take her kids with her. Monica says she learned to act by watching and imitating people in the mall. She started Monica Potter Home because she wanted to make great products for the home that were inspired by her father and mother who liked to keep a nice house and decorate even if they didn’t have a lot of money. You can see how much family, hers and yours, means to her.

Her family originally moved into Collinwood in June 1971. She was born two weeks later. They sold the house in 1987 to move to Alabama. She bought the house back in 2012 and had a film crew come from Los Angeles that summer to document more than 1,000 hours of footage on the work that they did on the home with the intention of creating a documentary. And, when something is meant to be, it is meant to be. Renovation was finished in June 2016 as her lease on a farmhouse in Hiram, Ohio, was up. She occupied the home on June 30, her birthday, and had her family’s priest come to bless the house. She says it was her best birthday ever. She still lives in L.A. full time and spends 10 days per month in Cleveland to work on Monica Potter Home and efforts to renovate more homes in the area.

She originally decided to film the renovation as a documentary because she wanted to tell a story; so, she banked the footage and was working with a filmmaker in L.A. Then, she was approached by a couple of

Monica Potter house after renovation on Welcome Back Potter
The exterior of the house has new white paint, fresh landscaping and a larger front staircase as seen on Welcome Back Potter.

networks about doing a home renovation show. She said she would do it as long as could produce it and not exploit her family. She went with HGTV and is really happy with result. She says that, “although they showcased the house, it was a different show for them because it showed the City of Cleveland, sisterhood, and what we are doing here and why, not just doorknobs and doors and hanging drywall.” The family worked 7 a.m to 10 p.m. each day, sometimes even sleeping in the car. Monica designed the fixtures, and everything is repurposed. She has an inventory system the documents everything down to the nails pulled from the walls, and she is recycling them to make other things.

With her roots in Collinwood and her passion for manufacturing, her ambitions include getting the useable space and machinery to make everything for Monica Potter Home from North Collinwood at a workshop with an apprenticeship program where people can learn from master craftsmen and technicians. This is a family grassroots effort, and she is working hand-in-hand with Brokaw Inc. to create a training space that currently is self-funded with no grants or partners. She said it’s not about a celebrity having a store or two but about creating jobs and making people proud of what they are doing, as well as helping people have incredible products at an affordable price in their homes that are made in the U.S., not overseas. She says that she wants to put up a sign that says, “Who wants to work? Who wants to learn to do something?” when she sees all the shutdowns and empty factories along St. Clair Avenue and as the Baby Boomers age out and are not being replaced with skilled labor.

With heart and soul, she blurts, “We’ve got to get our s!*# together. The Cleveland Indians and Cleveland Cavaliers did great. I love that we’re winning, and our teams, and the resurgence in the area. It’s Believeland, but now it’s time for us to believe in ourselves. Our great sports teams are catapulting us and making us proud. Now, it’s our turn.”


Black Friday: We are open!

Black Friday saleNot only are we open, but today is the last day of our week-long progressive sale. Each day, savings increased until the maximum percent off today only. Monday, prices return to normal.

You can get 25% off select heat treating, pallet racking, machine tools, inspection equipment, parts washers, surface grinders, woodworking, fabrication, material handling, finishing equipment, dust collectors and lathes.

Get 35% off select air dryers, blowers, electrical, pumps, valves, cylinders, lift tables, conveyors, shop equipment, manual lifts, printing, label equipment, drill presses, air compressors, chemical processing, packaging, air handling, saws, plastic and rubber equipment, welding equipment and hoists.

Get 50% off select motors, tooling, hardware, hydraulic units, office furniture/chairs, desks, file cabinets, electronics, workbenches, inspection equipment and Aisle 1 items.

HGR’s Thanksgiving 2016 holiday hours

cornucopiaWe will be open normal hours on Wednesday and Friday, but we are closed on Thanksgiving Day to celebrate the holiday with our families. Stop in this week for our progressive sale. Each day, the savings get larger, until Friday, when you can receive up to 50% off select items.

Also, we are open on the second Saturday of every month, but starting on Dec. 10, we will close at 1 p.m. instead of 2 p.m. on Saturdays; so, get your Saturday shopping done early and go enjoy the rest of your day!

Thanks for an abundance of memories and for your patronage!

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

Has downsizing, a norm in the past decade, affected your employees?

downsizing illustration of team being cut with scissors

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Cynthia Wilt, board of directors, Career Transition Center)

As leaders of your business, have you ever had to downsize your staff and disrupt your team? Where do you go for help? Where do you send your employees for help? Have you been through this yourself, so you really understand what happens to people and their families? And, what happens to the ones who are left behind – those who keep their jobs? How does the loss of their fellow employees affect their morale, their productivity and their loyalty to your business? Many questions to ponder, aren’t there?

There is always the typical government center to send them to when they sign up for unemployment compensation – where they try to help you, but getting one-on-one help is not usually possible. This was the problem we saw when Career Transition Center was started in 2011. We are a nonprofit organization that assists unemployed and underemployed Northeast Ohio residents who cannot get help elsewhere, and we have learned their needs from the thousands of people we have dealt with during the years.

Many of your employees have never gone through this situation before, or, even if they did, they may not know how to do a real job search. They need support and honesty given by career coaches who know what the employers in the area want in their new hires. You can hire an outplacement firm to handle each person or in groups, but, depending on your budget, you may not really get much assistance for each person. So, what is your moral and community obligation as an employer to help these people? How does your business value system fit into your next steps? These people were once your friends, your team and your fellow employees. What do you owe them? These are things you need to think about before the situation to lay off even occurs.

Some people immediately become depressed and afraid for their future. They tend to do rash things, and their spirit gets so low that they are not able to interview well for other jobs. They may feel that part of the job loss was because of them or their team. And, maybe they should have done something better or different. They become insecure, and some even lie to family and friends about their situation, which is unhealthy for them and for a good job search.

Do you give letters of recommendation? Do you offer assistance? Or do you just walk them out the door on the same day they are told? Many people live paycheck to paycheck and may lose their auto, their home, or worse. They need someone to help them become empowered during job transition and career change. They need to gain confidence and realize their actual value in the local market. And, they need the tools and encouragement to develop and implement a plan to reach their next step, something not available just from job clubs or one-stop centers.

Are they a part of the “vanishing middle class” – workers between age 45 and 70 that may not have up-to-date skills; so, employers will not consider them for a new hire? These people get shunned because they are too expensive, too old, or too (you fill in the blank). Sadly, this group remains out of work the longest and is becoming the new poor. They may need to learn current job-search skills and new technology to be considered for the jobs of today. How you plan for these uncertain times has a huge impact on what your business reputation is. It speaks to who might want to work for you, or what people in the community say about your business. It explains what type of employer you are. Now is the time to think about these things and make a plan for how downsizing is handled in your business. If the time comes, you will be better, stronger and make good decisions.

People using Career Transition Center

MAGNET’s 2016 State of Manufacturing address took place at Jergens, Inc.

MAGNET state of manufacturing symposium at Jergens

On Nov. 16, 2016, MAGNET: The Manufacturing Advocacy and Growth Network, in conjunction with PNC Bank, presented its 2016 State of Manufacturing: Important Trends Affecting Northeast Ohio Manufacturers at Jergens Inc., 15700 S. Waterloo Road, Cleveland. There was standing room only as manufacturers and service-industry representatives arrived to hear presentations by Rich Wetzel, Youngstown Business Incubator, on the state of additive manufacturing and Dr. Ned Hill, The Ohio State University’s John Glenn College of Public Affairs and Ohio Manufacturing Institute, on manufacturing, the economy and the future.

In opening remarks, Paul Clark, regional president, PNC Bank, noted that “Thirty percent of PNC’s loan commitments in Northeast Ohio have been in manufacturing for the past 20 of 40 years.” These loans help manufacturers with new product development, new markets and acquisitions.

Wetzel, in his presentation on additive manufacturing, aka 3D printing, shared the seven main processes of additive manufacturing, with material extrusion being the most common, and says, “Northeast Ohio is becoming the capital of additive manufacturing and putting the area on the map.” He also shared that low-volume tooling is the low-hanging fruit and the easiest to implement for near-term opportunities but that the market tends to be risk averse.

Last, Dr. Hill (if I had an economics professor like this in college, I might have liked economics and learned something) talked about the current uncertainty in the market due to the election but the positive increase in interest rates. He says, “Manufacturing is looked at nostalgically by the public since it’s gone overseas, and they believe we aren’t making things.” In 2014, although China was the top nation for manufacturing, the U.S. was a close second. He shared that the largest market opportunity in the world lies in the NAFTA nations. He did a retrospective and shared that manufacturers were always in the top 10 employers in Ohio but now the reality is that part-time, low-wage jobs in healthcare, retail and food service have become the mainstay. In that reality, he says, “Midsized companies will be driving this state.”

Another trend he discussed in depth was automation. Since 1979, we lost almost 5-million factory jobs but at the same time more than doubled the value due to productivity. In addition, he shared statistics that we have lost 13 percent of factory jobs to trade and 88 percent to automation and continuous improvement, and that robotics is expected to reduce labor by another 22 percent in the U.S. He asked the audience to consider how many jobs technology has saved rather than lost. The U.S., for the first time in recent years, is a threat to China due to its quality, efficiency and improved internal supply chain. He says that when manufacturing can 3D print a die, it will save 20-30 percent and can compete with China. And, as much as we would like to believe that manufacturing powers the economy, it’s actually powered by consumers who do 70 percent of the spending. They are buying the products we manufacture!

Finally, he acknowledged the present problem of aging-out workers and the lack of a skilled workforce to replace them. He says manufacturing’s greatest enemies are parents, school counselors and OSHA, which limits workers under 20 from being on the manufacturing floor. We are losing talent to other industries. Let’s make these people our allies and work toward STEM education and a resurgence of interest in a field has evolved and shed its former stereotypical image.


MakerGear, manufacturer of 3D printers, discusses the amazing real-world applications and how-tos of additive manufacturing

3D printer architectural prototype

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Annie Liao, director of educational outreach, MakerGear, LLC)

What is MakerGear?

MakerGear designs and manufactures desktop 3D printers, primarily for use by businesses, schools, and makers. We originally started in a residential Ohio garage in 2009 and have continued to grow ever since. Currently, we have 25 employees at our factory in Beachwood, Ohio. Also, we received an exciting award this week! Our MakerGear M2 3D printer was ranked #1 in the world out of 513 printers. We’re excited to shine a light on technology and manufacturing here in Northeast Ohio.

What is additive manufacturing?

Additive manufacturing processes create objects by adding layer-upon-layer of material to build an object. These processes are in contrast to traditional subtractive types of manufacturing, such as those utilizing CNC machined parts, where material is removed from an object to create the finished product.

What is the benefit of a 3D printer? What problems does it solve?

3D printing is revolutionizing the manufacturing industry for a number of reasons. One significant contribution is that it saves time and money by allowing for rapid prototyping. When producing an object, the prototyping process has historically occupied a bulk of time between concept and launch. Today, with 3D printing, we can substantially shorten that gap by giving engineers and designers the ability to create their own prototypes in house – and as many iterations as they need — without dependency on an outside source or back-and-forth shipping delays.

Beyond those advancements in the industry, 3D printing is one of the most cost effective ways to produce small batch or custom items. This is great for everyone from small businesses creating unique products, all the way to doctors printing scale models of a patient’s heart before surgery. And on top of all of that, 3D printers create less waste, if any at all, compared to traditional manufacturing processes. The technology is constantly improving and changing, and we expect to see the number of problems that 3D printing solves continue to grow.

How can you use a 3D printer? What kinds of things are being made? Who are your customers/what are they making?

Our M2 3D printer requires 3D modeling software to design or import the object to be printed, and convert (or slice) that design into a language the printer can understand called G-code. We use a program called Simplify3D, but we also have recommendations on our website for freeware that works great, as well.

Seeing the range of applications our customers are creating is the most exciting part! The students at Mayfield City Schools’ Excel TECC have been creating 3D printed prosthetic hands, which are functional and only cost about $12 in printing materials. It’s an incredible achievement. One of our customers is printing tailor-fit horseshoes for horses with difficult-to-treat hoof conditions. And, we have customers printing parts for drones that transport medication to remote villages in East Africa. There is a limitless range of applications, and we’re surprised daily by the innovative products people are creating.

What materials can you use to build?

Some 3D printers on the market require the use of proprietary filament, which limits options and innovation. But, we’ve worked really hard to ensure that MakerGear printers can print in a range of materials, including a variety of plastics and metal composites. The list of possibilities is constantly growing.

These materials are packaged on spools in filament form. The filament is fed into the heart and soul of the printer called the hotend. The hotend consists of a heater, thermistor and a nozzle and is capable of heating the printing material to a certain temperature and then extruding it in successive layers onto a build platform. In the case of our M2 3D printer, the build platform also is heated to allow the object to better adhere to the bed during printing.

What does it cost?

Our MakerGear M2 printer costs $1,825. A 1-kg spool of PLA plastic, which is the material we recommend people begin printing with, costs $35, but can see you through multiple projects.

Do you see any trends with the industry or technology?

We are definitely seeing more interest in the types of materials available for 3D printing. We’re constantly testing new materials on our machines and have been excited by the results of some of them, from elastics to metal composites. It opens up a whole new world of innovation.

To avoid what happened with Cleveland Indians’ Pitcher Trevor Bauer when he bought a 3D printer from you and used it to make a drone that cut his finger, what safety tips do you have for users and consumers?

If you were following the Cleveland Indians this year in the playoffs you may have heard that Trevor Bauer owns a MakerGear M2 and 3D prints parts for his drones. He explained in a press conference that he got cut while plugging in his drone when the propeller started spinning at max throttle. We are certainly glad that he was able to recover quickly, and we can assure you that his accident didn’t have anything to do with the 3D printing process.

6 reasons why you need digital marketing to expand your business

woman touching digital screen

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Liz Fox, senior marketing associate, MAGNET: The Manufacturing Advocacy and Growth Network)

Manufacturing has always been at the forefront of change and innovation, notably in creating and implementing new measures to better serve the needs of the company and its customer base. But the rapid pace of technological growth – paired with reluctance to invest in new and/or unexplored systems – has left small- and mid-sized businesses struggling to keep up in an increasingly connected world.

However, digital marketing services can be utilized for different purposes in different industries with the ultimate goal of increasing revenue and establishing credibility. The following reasons not only address the numerous benefits of incorporating digital marketing in your overall strategy, but also how different techniques can grow your business sooner rather than later.

  • Lead delivery and conversion – Lead scoring empowers companies to better track how customers are finding them. By using a marketing automation platform in conjunction with customer relationship management (CRM) software, manufacturers easily can monitor how incoming traffic gets converted to leads, followers, subscribers, and/or closed sales.
  • Reduced marketing costs – Traditional media, such as print, radio, and television, harbor high rates and are, in some cases, ineffective at getting to your target market. Digital marketing not only touches a wider range of clients, but also bears better returns on investment. In fact, according to Gartner’s Digital Marketing Spend Report, 40 percent of surveyed small- and mid-sized companies claimed they saved money by using digital means of promotion.
  • Level playing field – Now that digital marketing services are becoming more cost-effective, they are no longer exclusive to large, multinational corporations. Smaller companies are granted access to services and capabilities that can help them better compete in growing industries. Sales and marketing strategies as a whole also are subject to expansion, which enables manufacturers to compete on similar levels.
  • Better customer interaction –In today’s world, consumers are more likely to follow or purchase from companies with a personal touch, and aspects of digital marketing allow small manufacturers to reach out to their customer base with new products and updates on the company. In particular, branching out into social media – especially Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn – builds trust and credibility, which leads to substantial increases in sales and revenue.
  • Enhanced identity and brand reputation – In addition to customer interaction, active social media accounts and a comprehensive website offer brand enforcement not found in traditional media. People are more likely to trust companies that have clear messaging and a substantial digital presence, as interactive elements, such as forms, buttons and feeds, can generate excellent results.
  • IoT integration – Over the last decade, the Internet of Things has grown into a hot topic for manufacturers, and many companies are embracing the ideology of interconnected devices on the shop floor. Digital marketing can act as the first step to preparing you for this shift and, eventually, will play a larger role in how you streamline your business.

Staffing agency develops associates for skilled-trades jobs

skilled tradesman

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Karen Sating, SHRM-CP and branch/market manager at Manpower)

Tell us in 3-4 sentences what service Manpower provides and what your role is.

With offices in 80 countries, Manpower provides contingent and permanent staffing to organizations of all sizes with solutions to enhance business agility and competitiveness. Manpower helps companies manage the ever-changing talent needs in today’s world in which rapid access to the right talent is a powerful competitive advantage. With our understanding of staffing trends and our pool of highly qualified candidates, Manpower can deliver the talent, matching the right individual to the right job.

What is your experience working with manufacturers or in the trades?

For more 60 years, Manpower has developed an understanding of high-demand occupations in manufacturing. We offer proven recruitment processes to find the right candidates. Finding skilled trades workers is a major challenge for organizations in the U.S., especially workers with the knowledge and experience for a specific job. It’s also Manpower’s core competency. Manpower is staffing for project work, peak production, year-round needs, and one-person jobs with qualified workers.

What are the greatest employment challenges that manufacturers face?

We are now at a turning point in the manufacturing workforce environment in North America. There are major changes underway in the demand and supply for manufacturing workers – many driven by new technologies – that will require new strategies and tactics for both companies and employees. For the fifth consecutive year, skilled trades positions are the hardest to fill globally according to our 2016-2017 Talent Shortage Survey.

How is the fact of Baby Boomers aging out of the system affecting the employment landscape?

Due to the aging North American workforce and a lack of younger talent to fill the pipeline, a generational skills gap also exists in manufacturing. Because of declines in domestic manufacturing, productivity gains, and a weak economy, many companies have hired few manufacturing workers of any type during the last couple of decades. As a result, many existing employees are nearing retirement. This generational shift will lead to even greater demand for new manufacturing workers for the jobs that remain.

How do you find qualified candidates?

We use a number of methods to attract the right candidates for the right jobs. From targeted local recruiting techniques to technology-enhanced recruiting, we use a wide-ranging methodology to identify the best candidate pool. Additionally, we maintain a pool of available candidates in our proprietary database and will partner with our clients to further anticipate skills and usage patterns.

What types of manufacturing and industrial positions do you staff?

Manpower staffs all types of manufacturing positions from general laborers to skilled trades.

Is there training available to enhance their skills?

Manpower offers free training to our associates via MyPath. With the ever-changing demands, we consider training a key differentiator for our associates’ productivity, efficiency, and long term satisfaction.

  • Assessment tool – We are offering a preference evaluation that allows our candidates and associates to align their likes and natural drives to jobs that match those preferences, which gives them the guidance they need to accelerate their career.
  • powerYou – We provide our associates with the courses to fill any knowledge or skill gaps through this online classroom. Associates do not need to apply for this resource. They are able to easily sign up with an username and password that should occur outside of regular working hours and is non-compensable.
  • Full College Tuition Coverage Program – Manpower is partnering with Western International University to offer our eligible, actively-assigned associates who apply for a Pell Grant with the opportunity to pursue a first-time associate’s or bachelor’s degree with no out-of-pocket costs.

What advice do you have for someone seeking a job in manufacturing?

Manufacturing candidates, especially those in skilled trades are in high demand. We’ve seen a rise in the number of businesses focused on training and development to fill talent gaps. We expect to see this number grow. That’s why we support companies and individuals to nurture learnability, which is the desire and ability to learn new skills to be employable for the long term.

What advice do you have for manufacturers seeking skilled employees?

As organizations report the highest talent shortage since 2007, employers look to develop their own workforces to fill in-demand roles. More employers than ever are filling talent gaps by training and developing their own people. This number has more than doubled since 2015, from one in five to more than half.

Manpower logo


Veterans fill manufacturing skills gap

veteran shaking hands with employer

As we continue to experience a skills gap as Baby Boomers age out of the system and we struggle to replace them with skilled labor, have you considered hiring a veteran? By 2020, this will be a pool of four-million candidates, according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, who have the training, experience and dedication that lend themselves to careers in manufacturing.

PolymerOhio states that veterans are goal-minded, resilient, used to working in a fast-paced environment with little room for error, and critical-thinking, strategic leaders. On its website, PolymerOhio provides a list of local and national organizations that can help connect veterans with employers.

There’s even an informative program, “From military front lines to manufacturing front lines,” outlined in a 16-page PDF through The Manufacturing Institute’s website that helps veterans get factory ready and encourages business owners to hire them. General Electric also sponsors the Get Skills to Work coalition that connects manufacturers, educational institutions and veterans’ advocates in order to prepare future veterans for careers in manufacturing.

The benefit to veterans? Many opportunities are available for high-paying, challenging careers as they re-enter civilian life.

Today is Veterans Day! Thank you for your service.

Bond issue passage for Euclid City School District makes new construction possible

Euclid High School facade

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Audrey Holtzman, public relations & marketing coordinator, Euclid City Schools)

The Euclid City School District secured passage of Issue 111 this week. This successful effort will allow the schools to rebuild their high school, build a new middle school, construct an Early Learning Village on the site of Forest Park Middle School, improve recreational facilities at Sparky DiBiasio Stadium and Memorial Park, and convert the Central Middle School property to a MetroPark. 

Dr. Charles Smialek, Superintendent of Euclid Schools, issued the following statement:

“Thank you to our Euclid community for believing in our school district and passing Issue 111. We have secured a much brighter future for our district because of you! 

We continue to have much work to do to become the district we need to be for our community and students. We will soon begin a strategic planning process to help us collaboratively lend clarity to our immediate future. In the coming weeks, we will communicate these steps and ask many of you to participate in the process. Today, however, let us celebrate a truly significant victory for Our Euclid.

We will immediately begin to prepare to rebuild our high school, construct a new middle school, shape an Early Learning Village, and improve multiple recreational outlets in our community. We will work to ensure that our efforts will improve Euclid for generations to come.”

The 7.89 mill bond issue passed by more than 1,100 votes and will result in an increase of approximately $16 per month in property taxes for the owner of a home valued at $70,000. The overall cost of the construction will be offset by a $40-million contribution from the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission.

Tips & tricks for implementing Lean/Six Sigma tools

Lean manufacturing

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Chris Adams MBA, Lean BB and Six Sigma BB)

Lean and Six Sigma have been methodologies I have used throughout my career, whether I knew them at that time by those names or not. Educated in Industrial and Operations Engineering “at that school up north,” The University of Michigan, and subsequently obtaining an MBA at The Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University, I was fortunate enough to get the strict schooling behind me and then later obtained my Lean Black Belt through the corporate Lean office of Emerson Electric in St. Louis and my Six Sigma Black Belt through Lorain County Community College via Dan Sommers who is a Six Sigma Black Belt alumni from GE Lighting.

The vast majority of my experience with Lean and Six Sigma methodologies has come through the manufacturing world. So, the first tip I would propose is to start with the Lean Journey 5S (or sometimes companies choose to use 6S to call out safety separately) if you and your organization have the wherewithal and commitment. Instituting the rigors of 5S and then maintaining are definitely a place where good standard work and an audit process pay off.

But, many an organization is too impatient to allow for the “cost” of 5S and the, sometimes, soft-cost savings to be returned. So, my second tip, Value Stream Mapping is still the way to make the current state be documented and understood as well as provide for the solid basis on which future-state Value Stream Maps can drive the profitability of an organization in the right direction.

My third tip is to use, sooner rather than later, the Value Stream Mapping process to understand back to the suppliers’ supplier and forward to the customers’ customer. I have been with organizations that have been successful in implementing and working with their suppliers and customers as a win-win in the value chain.

The fourth tip is to have a solid foundation for the process used to implement project- or process-based change. In my last two roles, I have been fortunate enough to work with organizations that were committed enough to the process of leading change that Policy Deployment (or Strategy Deployment or X-matrix) were truly practiced. An organization that waterfalls its top three to five main corporate objectives to the associate on the floor really understands what teamwork is all about.

My fifth and final tip is that, although my experience (and to this point) a significant amount of the use of Lean and Six Sigma tools have come through the manufacturing world, service industries are a hotbed where these tools can be more universally applied. In my personal experience as a volunteer at one of the most respected hospital systems in the world, we’ve learned that a process is a process and can be improved.


HGR Frequent Shopper Jason Wein, an industrial artist with dyslexia, sells his work to celebrities, high-end retailers and five-star hotels

Blown glass bowl at HGR and bought by Steven Spielberg as party ice buckets and gifts
Glass bowl like those purchased as ice buckets and party gifts by Steven Spielberg

We talked with HGR Frequent Shopper Jason Wein of Cleveland Art about his life as an artist, his philosophy and his connection with manufacturing. If you visit HGR’s new offices located at the rear of our existing building, you will see tables, chairs, signage and decorative items that he made. Since his work is owned by famous Hollywood stars, such as Ellen DeGeneres, Gwyneth Paltrow and Steven Spielberg and is featured globally, including the Timberland store in London, we are honored to have his work in our building. If you’ve ever visited us on a Wednesday for lunch and sat at the tables with built-in stools or at the computer terminals in our customer lounge, you are sitting on and at Jason’s creations. You can see a glass bowl in our new offices that is just like the hundreds he blew for Spielberg to use as ice buckets and to give out as gifts at his parties.

When asked about how he got his start as an artist, he says, “I have dyslexia really bad. As a kid of about eight years old, I embarrassed my parents when I garbage picked bicycles and went to abandoned industrial buildings. I always had busted knuckles from working on cars, garbage picking and making furniture. My teachers told me that I wouldn’t make it in anything and were abusive, but then a high-school art teacher told me that I was talented and encouraged me to follow a career in art rather than a mechanical career. I went to Kent State University for a year but the teachers didn’t like how I was doing things; so, I went to Alaska to get inspiration from ice and water for my blown glass.”

He was born in New Jersey, lived in Cleveland since he was 10 then lived in Alaska for many years and didn’t think that he would leave, but, since his art is inspired by The Rust Belt and he wanted to raise a family, he came back to Cleveland, and here he remains. He is married with two sons: one 18 years old at Ohio University where he majors in film writing with a minor in marketing, the other 14 years old who wants to make money and may work with his uncle’s bank.

Jason shops for materials and makes everything in Cleveland then ships it to his 10,000-square-foot Los Angeles gallery to sell. He also makes pieces on commission and for architects and designers to furnish to their clients. In Cleveland, he blew an 80-foot glass chandelier and made furniture for The Metropolitan at the 9, Cleveland’s only five-star hotel.

About his inspiration, he says, “Most people don’t look at a bridge as a piece of art, but it is a perfectly balanced piece of art. It is the epitome of art. The reason I chose to do the project for HGR is because I walk in HGR the way people walk in parks to get inspired by trees. I get inspired by machines. I’ll see a machine that three people spent their lives behind. Their initials are carved into it. You can see their fingerprints and wear marks on the seat. These machines tell stories. The people who made and worked at the machines are artists and never got recognition for building our country. Those machines cost more than a house, and factories had 50 machines in one room. Now, one person can operate several CNCs and take over a whole factory of people. In a time where we have time, we don’t have time anymore with cell phones and computers. People spent their lifetimes punching holes and slicing metal; they did one thing, and that’s all they did. Machines look like beautiful prehistoric creatures. And, there’s no place in the world like HGR where you can see 10 acres that are a sign of the past when things were made quality. The drill presses there will outlive you, but a new one is disposable.”

He started out bartending from age 19 to 22 to subsidize the art. He says his background is in garbage picking and buying junk, art and antiques. He mainly makes functional objects, such as lights, tables and shelves but, lately, has been getting into some sculptural stuff like the interior and exterior lighting, outdoor sundial and globe sculpture at One University Circle, a five-star, high-rise apartment tower in Cleveland. He uses wood, metal and glass, more natural materials, not those that are synthetic or manmade, like plastic.

He learned about HGR because he used to drive around neighborhoods in Cleveland looking for old buildings to get claw-foot bathtubs. He took 40 of them with him to Alaska. That’s how he met the HGR guys — when they worked at McKean Machinery and he was a customer. HGR CEO Brian Krueger was his salesman. When they left McKean to form HGR, Jason followed him.

I asked Jason if he is considers himself a maker or upcycler. He says, “We were doing it before it was cool. When I started in the 90s, it wasn’t cool. People didn’t want “used” stuff. In 1994, I got the marble bathroom stalls and bronze gargoyles and dragonflies from Terminal Tower and some barn stalls. I used them with stone and marble to make shoe-shine stands and clock faces. People were convinced they were antique clocks. I bought camouflage, combat boots, trench coats and Levis from the U.S. Army and from thrift stores to sell to high-end stores in New York City. The full name of my company was Cleveland Art and Antiques. I started out in hiding as an antique dealer so people didn’t think I was an upcycler.”

Jason Wein of Cleveland ArtI asked him what he does when he’s not making art. He doesn’t. He says, “I live, breathe, think and dream it. I like to work.” He also shared his insights about manufacturing trends that affect his work. He says, “For my business, the technology we use is old and outdated. It’s handmade and handcrafted. I pay 20 percent of my employees’ wages to the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation. As a small business I struggle to stay afloat then large, chain hardware and home furnishing companies steal my designs and farm them out to India for $3-4/week in wages to make what I make for pennies on the dollar. It’s hard to be competitive; so, I’m always changing my designs and have to sell to the top 2 percent of the population because the stuff I make is expensive. I never wanted to be restricted to who I sell to but it’s hard to sell to a regular market with cheap imports.”

His advice to aspiring artists and makers? “For anyone who goes into the arts, people told me you’re so inspiring and that they wanted to go to school for glass or furniture making. I would tell them to go to school for business and minor in art. They need the education in the business end of selling their art. They need to be a good buyer, seller and smart manufacturer. There are so many hats you have to wear. A lot of people blow glass and are color blind and try to use color but don’t understand color. So, I do clear glass and can have every color of the rainbow in it. I understand what sells. It’s a very difficult way to make a living.”

Conference table made by Cleveland Art for HGR
Conference table made by Cleveland Art for HGR

Thoughts from Justin: 3D printers coming to a library near you

Maker space at library

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Justin Mobilian, HGR’s sales & marketing summer intern)

If you remember, I wrote a blog about the future of 3D printing (additive manufacturing). Hopefully my goal of sparking your interest in the industry was achieved. If not, well, I’m sorry. BUT, this post should change your mind.

If you live near Cleveland and aren’t a member of the Cleveland Public Library, you may want to change that. Back in 2014, the library added 3D printers for the public’s use. Note: Libraries offering 3D printers to the public are available nationwide. Just call your local library to see if they are available. If you’ve ever wanted to give one of these printers a shot, now is your chance.

Libraries across the country are unveiling ‘MakerSpace’ stations, which are essentially places for people to gather to learn about technology and get hands-on with the machines – 3D printers being a hot topic right now.

For those who have access to the Cleveland Public Library, their MakerSpace station provides access to 3D printers, laser cutters, music production equipment and many other tools. It is located in the lower level of the Louis Stokes Wing at 325 Superior Avenue (open Monday through Saturday: 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.).

If you’re looking to pick-up a new hobby, make a trip to a MakerSpace. I haven’t been to a library since high school, but that will change in the next couple weeks! Who knows, you might find your next favorite activity AND a new friend. If you have been to a MakerSpace station before, feel free to comment below with your experience of it and where it was.

HGR celebrates Halloween in style, and you can vote for your favorite costume

Scary jack o'lantern in the woods

Our offices are decked out with Halloween decorations. We have donuts. We have chocolates. And, we have costumes (not for sale). Stop by for a ghoulishly good time.

Cast your vote by Nov. 2 at 9 a.m. for your favorite costume and share photos of yours with us here.



Local bolt manufacturer had its roots in WWII war effort and supplies bolts to critical applications

excavator loading dump truck at construction site

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Alex Kerr, corporate secretary, Kerr Lakeside)

Kerr Lakeside Inc., 26841 Tungsten Blvd., Euclid Ohio, was started in 1945 by Charles L. Kerr. He then organized Krafline Industries for the manufacture of a special military fastener. Once World War II ended, the company discontinued operations until 1947, when the company was renamed C.L. Kerr Industries. It regularly bought and sold products from another Cleveland company, Lakeside Machine Products Company, which led to a merger in 1958. The new company was named Kerr Lakeside Industries.

Expansion continued for Kerr Lakeside in the 1950s and 1960s as the company made additions to its facilities on St. Clair Avenue numerous times. In 1965, Kerr Lakeside moved to its present location on Tungsten Boulevard in Euclid Ohio. Kerr Lakeside continued to make expansion to this facility and invested in two buildings next door through the end of the century, as equipment was purchased and space to hold inventory was necessary. The business has remained a family-run business since the beginning, now in its third generation of ownership, under the leadership of Charles Kerr II.

Today, Kerr Lakeside Inc. manufactures hex socket screw products, precision-machined parts, and cold-headed components. The largest portion of Kerr Lakesides business is its sale of high-strength, critical application fasteners. These high-strength fasteners are produced on one of Kerr’s seven cold heading machines. This process takes a steel blank and presses it between a punch and a die to form the metal into a fastener blank. This process can reach speeds upwards of 200 parts per minute and results in no loss of material, unlike machining that removes metal to form the parts. After the fastener blank is formed, the threads are rolled between two dies that form the threads of the fastener. Both these processes allow for the part and threads to be formed with little to no material lost and provide for a higher strength part. Last, the parts are sent out locally to a vendor for heat treating to increase the strength of the fastener. All parts are then inspected at Kerr Lakeside’s in-house laboratory to ensure they meet the required specifications.

Kerr’s full line of hex socket screw products is sold through distributors across the United States and Canada. These fasteners are used in a wide range of products, including automotive, machine tools, tool and dies, heavy-duty machinery, and mining equipment. Kerr says, “The bolts can end up in critical applications, such as in vehicles and motorcycles, trucks, construction equipment, cranes, molds and dies. Bolts aren’t the most exciting thing, but they do an important job.”

One of the many challenges for Kerr Lakeside, like many other manufacturers, is the availability of skilled labor. Kerr has taken an active role in the industry’s efforts to develop its workforce going forward. Kerr is a member of a number of associations — Precision Machined Products Association, Industrial Fastener Institute, and Alliance for Working Together — that encourage manufacturing as a career path by working with students and educators of local schools. Several area community colleges, including Lakeland Community College, Cuyahoga Community College and Lorain County Community College, now offer two-year manufacturing-related programs as a result of the associations and their members.

Kerr Lakeside also supports local businesses. According to its plant manager, the company has bought a National Acme screw machine, belt sander, conveyors, shelving, motors and pumps from HGR Industrial Surplus and has sold surplus equipment to HGR, as well.

Kerr Lakeside logo

Meet some talented, nontraditional students who could be an asset to your organization

CEVEC mock interview

The Cuyahoga East Vocational Education Consortium (CEVEC) is a consortium of 17 schools that offers career-oriented curriculum, job training and mentorship to special-needs students by focusing on their preferences, interests, needs and strengths.

On Oct. 21, CEVEC hosted its annual mock interview day at the Hilton Garden Inn, Mayfield Village. Three employees from HGR (CEO Brian Krueger, Human Resources Assistant April Quintiliano and me) attended to help 150 students with their interviewing skill.

There were two mock interview sessions with employees from 50 Northeast Ohio companies, such as McDonalds, Rockwell Automation, Arby’s, Cintas, CVS, Dave’s Supermarkets, Giant Eagle, Hilton Garden Inn, Jergens, Panera Bread, Toyota of Bedford, and others. During the lunch break, CEVEC students and staff presented on a range of topics, including the myths and facts about hiring people with disabilities.

Students showed up smartly dressed, prepared and confident. Here’s a snapshot of the 10 students that we interviewed in the morning session. We welcome you to get to know them as we did, in their own words:

Lisa from Mayfield: works at Menorah Park doing housekeeping (washing beds, trash and bathrooms) and at Pearl’s Place (wipe down tables and stocking); likes to read and play with her Bichon Frise; she cut coil and roll, scales and seal bags at CEVEC vocational program; favorite place she worked is at The Cleveland Botanical Garden during summer; least favorite was Old Navy because of complicated folding techniques; she’s good at time management and is a fast worker who completes tasks and is flexible to multitask; at the Greater Cleveland Food Bank she made lunches for people in need in an assembly line and helped kids who needed help completing their tasks

Cathy from Chagrin Falls: junior in H.S. in afternoon and CEVEC during the morning, which sends her to be a chef’s helper at Rockwell Automation; she works for her dad at Valley Marketplace weighing and pricing, stocking, and wiping the table; she’s good at drawing people and has gotten awards; she likes fashion and dress up, reading, and writing; her favorite class is English since she’s a good reader

Paul from Cleveland Heights: favorite place to work was Food Bank because he had a place to go; favorite subject was science; hobbies are watching and playing sports and his favorite team is the Pittsburgh Steelers; if he could do any job he would work at the Food Bank because he made sure the food was safe and liked being in the kitchen

Andrea from Richmond Heights: graduated in 2014; favorite class was math because she likes numbers; fave jobs were The Mandel Jewish Community Center where she sorted and hung clothes and Ursuline College because cleaning tables and chairs and recycling were a lot of fun; she likes music and computers and is best at cleaning up; she feels that she needs to improve her spacing and gets in the way of people; if could pick any job to do and get paid she would work at Ursuline

Anastasia from Shaker Heights: fave class is math and science and her least fave is math because it’s too easy; she likes going outside and likes basketball and watching the Cavs; favorite place to work was Shaker Theater cleaning theaters, bathrooms and games, and taking tickets; her least-favorite job was piece worker at CEVEC because it was hard but she’s gotten better; she was good at what she did at Doubletree Hotel stripping beds but needs to improve working in a team; she would like to work at Giant Eagle when she graduates

Jordan from Mayfield Heights: graduates in 2017; likes school and math is favorite subject with language arts his least favorite; he plays football as a safety and wide receiver and plays snare drum in the band; he works at Hillcrest Hospital in the surgery center transporting oxygen; he likes moving stuff around and restocking; he needs improvement on paperwork and filing; you can count on him to be there every day and be dependable; he got his wish because he wanted to see the Indians play the Cubs

Ja’Eona from Mayfield Heights: loves school and hates missing it; loves learning and it makes her happy; the other kids are her least favorite part because they get too wild; her favorite class is history, she runs to it and likes to hear what happened in America; she sings the National Anthem at school assemblies; her mom owns Martha’s Place and works with disabled men in their 50s and 60s and her dad is the pastor at Greater Fellowship Assembly, she hopes to take over both of their jobs; while she was eating at McDonalds, the owner offered her a job; prefers eating at McDonalds over Burger King but Wendy’s nuggets are better; she’s always on time and learns fast and is an asset because she can do it if she puts her mind to it; her area to improve is her attitude because she has downfalls and gets a little mad and can take it to a further extent but knows how to be professional and learned to be more calm; she would rather work by herself because she can do it better; watching her dad preach taught her skills and how to speak in front of people; she likes the medical field and would want to go into phlebotomy since blood doesn’t bother her

Nina from Mayfield Heights: graduates i2018; doesn’t like school; fave class is art and least is math and science; she practically failed physical science and has to retake it; she’s in the fuse club where they get together and do different thing, such as a Halloween party and costume contest; an animal shelter was her favorite place to work where she cleaned litter boxes and dog cages; she’s good at following directions and is nice to people; she likes to read books like The Hunger Games and fan fiction every day

Randall from Bedford: is a cashier and cleans and stocks shelves at Michaels; plans to go to Tri-C for a two years then transfer to a four-year college for a degree in nursing; science is favorite class because he likes to discover the chemicals and dissect a frog and pig and mouse; Pizza Hut favorite place to work because he likes pizza and was busy every day; there was good teamwork at McDonalds and they really liked him there because of his personality; he’s good at being a cashier, cleaning the lobby and restocking; he could improve at the register

Amari from Cleveland Heights: graduated in 2016; got job training through CEVEC in food prep at Menorah Park; fave classes were English, science and math; fave job was Food Bank because he portioned foods onto trays and enjoyed that; working in the dairy department at Dave’s was his least favorite because it was cold; if he could do any job, he would work at a restaurant in the kitchen and cook and use his skills with utensils; he enjoys TV, video games and music

Maybe one of these students is right for your organization. We found two long-term employees through CEVEC’s mock interview program. They have been an asset to our organization.

CEVEC students

I talked to HGR Partner and CEO Brian Krueger about his involvement with CEVEC. He told me that he first heard about CEVEC eight to nine years ago from family friend Sandy Seigler who said that he helps kids who, primarily, are communication-challenged but who are productive, resourceful, good workers. Krueger was asked to conduct mock interviews twice per year for two to three years and attended graduations and open houses. Then, he found himself needing to fill some positions at HGR. Our first hire from CEVEC, Jeremy, worked in the tear down area to re-itemize or scrap items. Now, he floats to different areas throughout Operations, including incoming, set up, tear down and scrap. Derrick cleans restrooms, sweeps aisles and assists in tear down. Krueger says, “I encourage business owners to look within their organizations to see if there are positions that can utilize these students’ skill sets.” Most of them have experience in food service, mailroom, restocking, carrying and moving, or tear down.

HGR employee Jeremy
Jeremy in his Employee-of-the-Month photo
Derric and metal gorilla
Derrick with the gorilla he made from HGR scrap

Looking for machine/fabrication shops willing to help Euclid H.S. with its battle robot

LEGO robot kit

On Oct. 25, we had our first organizational meeting of the school year with Bob Torrelli, Euclid High School’s Science Department chair and Robotics Team coach, to get the lay of the land before we head full tilt into preparation for the Alliance for Working Together’s (AWT) RoboBots competition on April 29, 2017.

With students about two months into the academic year, Torrelli says the robotics class, being offered for the first time, is full with 24 students working on eight LEGO robotics kits, four of which were donated by HGR. And, the class for next semester is full, as well. This course is open to juniors and seniors as a science elective. In addition to robotics, the school is offering an engineering class.

Outside of class time, there is a Robotics Club that meets weekly. Those 12 students will be designing and building the competition battle robot for AWT’s RoboBots battle. Ten students will be selected. Design should be complete by December. The school is looking for machine or fabrication shops willing to donate their time machining and assembling the bot over winter break so that students can begin assembly and testing in January when they return.

HGR employees wear pink in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Two HGR employees, Nia Ashanti in Austin and Melanie Goryance in Euclid, spearheaded an effort to support Breast Cancer Awareness Month by passing out pink rubber bracelets to employees in both offices. According to Goryance, “Everybody was very excited to wear one to show support.” Ashanti says, “Everyone put theirs on immediately.”

They distributed the bracelets and a message that encouraged employees to remind themselves, their mother, wife, sister, friend or coworker of the importance of early detection. They also included information on local facilities and insurance coverage to encourage women to have a mammogram.

HGR's Austin office showing its support of breast cancer awareness
HGR’s Austin office showing its support of breast cancer awareness month

HGR unveils new offices

Euclid mayor and two HGR partners

On Oct. 20, HGR Industrial Surplus hosted an open house and luncheon for its partners, community leaders and long-time friends to unveil a more-than-$1.2-million renovation. If you’ve never been to the back of the building, now you have two reasons to drive around: to visit the NEO Sports Plant and the new operations offices for HGR.

The open house ran from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and included a self-guided tour of the space, a luncheon catered by Chick-fil-A, and a meet and greet with HGR’s partners and long-time customer Jason Wein of Cleveland Art who made the signage, art, lamps and furniture in the area. It’s worth a stop by just to see his work!

Some visitors included: Euclid Mayor Kirsten Holzheimer Gail and City of Euclid Building Director Joe O’Donnell; Joe Barbaree, Northeast Shores Development Corporation; John Copic, publisher, The Euclid and Collinwood Observers; Charlie Sims, Sims Buick GMC; Sheila Gibbons, Euclid Chamber of Commerce; Audrey Holtzman and Superintendent Dr. Charles Smialek, Euclid City Schools; two Euclid Police Department officers; and our banking and insurance partners.

Next on the list of upgrades? A façade/entry improvement, landscaping and parking-lot resurfacing outside this new entrance at the back of the Euclid showroom facility.

Guests eating at Cleveland Art table

Manufacturing undergoes renaissance and evolves its image

MAGNET [M]Power Manufacturing Assembly

On Wednesday, Oct. 19, Manufacturing Advocacy & Growth Network (MAGNET), Cleveland Engineering Society and Crains Cleveland Business hosted its third-annual [M]Power Manufacturing Assembly at the John S. Knight Center, Akron, Ohio.

The event was showcased information, stories and demonstrations that spoke to the renaissance in manufacturing, globally and in Northeast Ohio. Some of the highlights included:

  • A breakfast keynote address by John E. Skory, president, The Illuminating Company
  • A lunch keynote address by Tim Timken, Chairman, CEO & President, TimkenSteel
  • Three breakout sessions that included a choice of area manufacturing speakers and panels who covered topics such as sales and marketing best practices, turnover, innovation, Lean, risk, rapid prototyping, safety, patents, STEM programs, Internet of Things and counterfeiting
  • An exhibitor hall with representatives from education, industry, construction and engineering, agencies, and technology

According to Ethan Karp, president, MAGNET, in his opening remarks, “Ohio ranks second in the nation for new manufacturing jobs created, and small manufacturing powers 40 percent of Northeast Ohio’s revenue.”

During Skory’s keynote speech, he says, “Ohio is third only to Texas and California in the amount of electricity consumed by industry. We are working to support advanced manufacturing and industry by constantly improving systems.”

Then, I attended the morning breakout entitled “Best practices in sales and marketing: identifying and capturing your customer” presented by Dave Winar, CEO, Winar; Dan Yemma, general manager, M7 Technologies; and Craig Coffey, U.S. marketing communications manager, Lincoln Electric. Winar says his company’s motto is, “Common sense, with humor, we will succeed.” That sounds like a great philosophy to live by! He also shared the “salesman ship” graphic that hangs over his desk and says, “The biggest room in the world is the room for improvement.” Coffey focused on the fact that the way people find information now is different from how they did 10 years ago; so, manufacturers need to evolve the way they approach sales as the closer, not the opener and salespeople as deal makers instead of relationship brokers. He also spoke to the importance of a digital footprint and partnering with digital influencers.

In the lunch keynote, Timken quoted a statistic from the National Association of Manufacturers, “For every $1 spent in manufacturing, $1.81 is added to our economy” and that for every worker hired four more jobs are created. You could see his passion for manufacturing when he stated that, for him, manufacturing is “the excitement of making stuff” and the ripple effect of the interconnectedness of people who make things in the region.

In my second breakout session, “Don’t just teach – inspire students: making learning relevant,” Toni Neary, partnership architect, Edge Factor, showed a number of inspiring and, sometimes, chilling videos that illustrate the art of storytelling to connect with youth who “think the world is purchased, not made.” She says that her company partners with manufacturers to show them that “this isn’t your grandfather’s manufacturing facility. It’s not dark, dirty or dangerous.”

Firemen and puppets teach elementary children about fire safety and prevention

Firefighter Phil at Arbor Elementary
First and second graders at Arbor Elementary School

The Firefighter Phil program was founded in 1975 by Creative Safety Products to bring fire-prevention, fire-safety and respect-for-authority-figure lessons to grades K-2. On Oct. 17, 2016, I attended a session of the Firefighter Phil program at Arbor Elementary School that was presented by Firefighter Steve Fleck of The Euclid Fire Department and Ventriloquist Mike Eakins of Creative Safety Products to an auditorium full of first and second graders, their teachers and administrators. Fleck has been a member of the fire department for 25 years and says that they have been hosting the Firefighter Phil program for 18-20 years.

Uncle Vinny of Firefighter Phil at Arbor Elementary
Uncle Vinny and Mike Eakins

What does the program involve? Well, it was one of the most entertaining ways I’ve spent my morning in a long time! The program uses ventriloquists, puppets, magic tricks, humor and audience participation to make learning fun, entertaining and memorable. The puppets change each year for students who may have seen the presentation in the prior year. This year, Mac the Mouse and Uncle Vinny taught us a few things that I wanted to share with you.

If you remember nothing else, here are the main takeaways. Since we all went through this training as kids, a refresher never hurts. Plus, you can use these tips with your kids and grandkids!

To get out of the house, the rules are:

  1. Low and go (crawl under smoke, test the door with the fingernail side of your hand to see if it is hot, and, if it is and the fire is outside the door, hang a sheet or blanket out of the window to signal to firefighters that someone needs help)
  2. Have a family meeting place pre-arranged on the street or in the neighborhood in case of emergency so that everyone can be accounted for
  3. Call 911

Check your smoke detectors monthly by pressing the button to make sure they still are working. Change the batteries twice per year during daylight savings time.

Finally, if your clothes are on fire (and, here’s where there was an extra step that I never learned as a kid):

  1. Stop
  2. Drop
  4. Roll

After the program, students received a grade-specific activity book to work on with parents, guardians and teachers. The Euclid Fire Department also created a child-sized room called a “smoke trailer” that is funded with donated aluminum cans. When classrooms visit the fire station, children can learn about fire safety in the room and see how smoke fills the room and where it is safe to crawl.

Mac the Mouse and me

Thoughts from Justin: Interview with a woman business owner

Brianna Michaels

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger, Justin Mobilian, HGR’s sales & marketing summer intern)

What’s it like being a female entrepreneur? The media tends to focus on men, whether it be sports, jobs, entertainment, you name it. But what about women? They’re equally as important and successful. That’s why I decided to interview a local entrepreneur to tell us what it’s like to be a woman business owner.

Take Brianna Michaels. She’s a 21-year-old business owner. I’m 23 and can’t imagine having the responsibility or patience to own my own company. Her company? Fairlawn Medina Landscape Supply.

Tell me about your business. What exactly do you do?

My company is a landscape supply and design store. We sell all types of bulk materials, such as top soil, mulch, gravel, and limestone. We have other products, such as grass seed, fertilizer, straw, tools, PVC pipe, low-voltage lighting, and much more. I also employ an architect who meets with my customers to help with designing their home projects.

When did you start your company?

I started the company in February 2015 in Akron, Ohio; however, just this past April I opened another location in Medina, Ohio.

How did you get into this type of business?

It started with my father. He started his own landscaping/construction company 34 years ago; so, I grew up working by his side. From the day I began working with him, I have always had an interest in exterior design. Fast forward several years and my interest for the industry grew so much that I started Fairlawn Medina Landscape Supply to work alongside my father’s company.

What are your plans for the future?

I plan on extending my business and opening a third location in the next three years. My 10-year plan consists of opening a nursery and selling plants wholesale and retail. I would also like to open a flower/homemade chocolate shop at some point but not anytime soon. I have a lot of plans for my future and slowing down is definitely not one of them.

Are there challenges to being a female business owner?

There are many challenges being a female business. I don’t receive much respect simply because I am a woman. I have had customers take one look at me and ask to speak to a man. I think women are viewed as not being as smart and responsible as men. Unfortunately, there aren’t many advantages to being a female business owner. I constantly have men making comments about my appearance or asking me out when they are much older than I am, which is very uncomfortable, at times.

What advice would you give to women who want to start their own business?

This sounds cliché, but, honestly, never give up. It’s so true. I’ve come to learn that those who are jealous of your success will do whatever they can to put you down. Being a female business owner means having patience with customers AND employees. A female tends to be looked at as bossy, whereas a male tends to just be looked at as a boss – not many people like to be told what to do by a woman. My father always told me, “You have to work hard to play hard,” and he’s right. Make your dreams into goals and don’t stop until you reach them.

Microbrewed beer and Euclid: it’s all about the chemistry!


Moss Point Ale at Euclid Brewing Company(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Doug Fry, co-owner, Euclid Brewing Company)

Q: What did you do before you decided to start your own business?

A: Immediately prior to opening the brewery I was principal scientist in Process Chemistry at Ricerca Biosciences in Concord.  Before Ricerca, I worked as a chemist in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries for 10 years.  And prior to that I taught college chemistry in South Carolina. Kim, my wife and brewing-company partner, is director of communications at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Cleveland Heights.

Q: Why did you and your wife decide to open a microbrewery?

Doug and Kim Fry of Euclid Brewing CompanyA: There were two main reasons I wanted to open the brewery.  The first was professional: I’ve worked for four different companies in my career, and each one of them had been sold at least once.  Every change in ownership led to layoffs and churning, which was very stressful for all employees.  I figured the only way I would have any job security in today’s economy would be if I started my own company.  The only marketable skills I had were making drugs, making chemicals, and making beer.  I figured starting a brewery would have fewer barriers than starting a pharmaceutical or chemical company. The second reason I wanted to start a brewery was more personal.  I didn’t want to be one of those people who reaches old age and regrets not having tried something risky in his or her life.  If I was going to start a brewery I couldn’t wait until retirement; I’d be too old to lift the 50-pound bags of malt!

Q: Why did you pick Euclid and your current location?

A: Kim and I have been Euclid residents since 2007.  We love the fact that we can walk to great restaurants, such as the Beach Club Bistro, Paragon, and Great Scott.  We’ve seen a lot of recent improvements in Euclid, and we wanted to be a part of that. We really wanted a location in a storefront in downtown Euclid because it would allow nearby residents to walk or ride their bikes to the tap room.  We hope customers will come from farther away, but we really wanted to focus on being a gathering place for the neighborhood. Locating the brewery in downtown Euclid also had a fringe benefit: My commute went from 19 miles one-way (when I worked in Concord) to less than a half mile!  I can walk or ride my bike to work now.

Q: How many beers do you offer? Styles?

A: Our goal is to always have six of our own beers on tap (We don’t plan to have any guest taps.).  A typical line-up would include a lighter beer style, such as a blonde or wheat beer; a pale ale and an IPA; a darker beer, such as an amber or stout; and a seasonal beer or two, for example a saison or pumpkin.

Q: Hours and do you offer food?

A: Currently our hours are Thursday 4-7 p.m., and Friday and Saturday 4-8 p.m..  We might expand those hours as we learn more about our customers’ preferences.

Q: What is your brewing philosophy?

A: We prefer to brew traditional styles rather than more exotic beers.  There probably will never be a chili-containing beer on tap at EBC!  We also want to focus on sessionable beers (4-6% ABV) rather than higher-alcohol styles.  The recent elimination of the alcohol cap on beers in Ohio will not affect our beer lineup.

Q: Since I met you at HGR one year ago, how did you hear about HGR and what made you stop by?

A: I first heard of HGR from a coworker at Ricerca.  He knew I lived in Euclid and asked if I had ever been to HGR.  He was adamant that I should go and look around. The first time we went it was an epiphany.  I wanted to buy almost everything I saw, but Kim stopped me. It’s an amazing place! We’ve taken our daughter and son-in-law to HGR.  They own a design firm in California, and we had to drag our son-in-law out of there at closing time.

Q: What have you purchased here, if anything?

A: We purchased a butcher-block-top industrial table for Kim to use for her stained glass projects  a while back. When we were building the brewery, we looked for a low stand or table for our chiller in the brewery. We spoke to a sales rep who emailed us some options from time to time, but we ended up using cinder blocks!

Q: Anything else I missed that’s important and you would like to add?

A: I was a home brewer for approximately 10 years before starting EBC.  I was bitten by the brewing bug when our daughter bought me a Mr. Beer kit for my birthday.  I’ve always called Mr. Beer a gateway kit, the use of which leads to more and more spending on brewing equipment, and before you realize it you own a brewery!

Euclid Brewing Company storefront


With one click, you can subscribe to HGR Industrial Surplus’ product spotlight video playlist on YouTube

HGR Industrial Surplus' YouTube product spotlight video playlist


Every week, HGR uploads about 20 new walkaround videos on a variety of new inventory in our showroom. If you can’t make it to the showroom or want to take a better look at a piece of equipment before paying a visit, subscribe to our playlist by clicking the red “Subscribe” button in the upper right on YouTube. Then you can be notified about new videos as they are posted. We also do some fun viral videos to make our customers laugh, educational videos, sale videos and some from the leadership of our company. You can find everything HGR on our YouTube channel and on our website.


Meet HGR Frequent Shoppers Calvin and Harriet Haxton

stainless steel mixer pot
BEFORE: Stainless-steel mixer pot
dog food bin
AFTER: Dog food bin

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger and HGR Customer Harriet Haxton)

In the word’s of Harriet about her and her husband’s most recent purchase:

“Calvin says you’re always interested in seeing what people do with the stuff they buy from you. Check out the pics of our most recent purchase. We call it the Lunar Lander Dog Food Bin. The first pic shows it in almost-original condition, with the exception of the position of the float. We like it sticking out of the top rather than hidden inside. Calvin added a Delrin stopper to the float tube so it hangs on the side of the bin while we’re scooping kibble. Pretty cool, eh?

Thanks for your patience with our many questions and keep up the good finds!”

We did a little Q&A. Here is more information about the Haxtons:

Q: How did you find out about HGR?

A: Calvin found HGR online through searching, searching, searching

Q: How long ago did you start shopping here, and why?

A: Calvin has been buying  tools from HGR for a couple of years for his job shop which uses old machine tools.  No CNC for him!  He even uses equipment of my grandfather’s from the early 20th century and late 19th.

Q: What types of items have you bought? What do you look for?

A: He wants stuff for the shop.  If he finds something weird, interesting or potentially useful for me, he shows it to me. Before the “Lunar Lander,” we got a stainless steel commercial kitchen floor cabinet.  Our house is a pre-1860s log house.  It has no built-in cabinets anywhere.  We have an old Hoosier, a six-foot steel commercial shelving unit and a very old one-piece enamel sink/drainboard for counter space and storage.  Now it’s considered “industrial chic” but we just like sturdy stuff that’s cheap and easy to clean.  Brand new commercial kitchen fixtures are horrendously expensive! Besides, finding something unexpected from you at a bargain price is great fun!

Q: I understand that you are from Maryland. Have you ever visited us in person?

A: Visiting you was on our agenda on our last visit to Ohio (in June).  Brake problems forced us to leave early.  But we still plan to some day!  We heat with wood; so, we don’t travel much in winter.

Q: What field do you work in?

A: I worked in the software industry for 23 years.  9/11 killed off most of my customers and the idea of dressing up and commuting long distances (95 miles and 2 hrs/day was typical) killed my incentive to stay in the industry.  So, I got a job at my local post office, and I’ve been a rural mail carrier ever since.  I am now part of my local community instead of just being a weekend visitor.

Q: Your email says “Haxton Ranch.” What kind of ranch do you have?

A: The name “Haxton Ranch” is a bit of a joke.  I’m from California, where folks have ranches, not farms.  The name is a permutation of Ranch Calvinian, which is a play on the Branch Davidians in Waco, Texas.  We’re not like that, but our minds work in flexible ways.  But we do have land, and I used to have two Tennessee Walking Horses (both mares).  Finances (the postal service does NOT pay as well as the software industry), a propensity to break bones more easily in old age, and an inability to just let my horses be pasture decoration all led me to let go of my childhood dream.  I did train and compete with my young mare and rode the older horse in all weather, terrain and venues.  Lots of fun, but horses are very expensive pets. Tell

(Since the Haxton’s shop online with the help of their sales rep, we asked them for a photo and got this selfie! Now we know what some of our long-distance customers look like. Harriet added the disclaimer that Calvin had just had surgery and hates having his picture taken; so, this photo is extra special. He was willing to do it for HGR! Thanks, Calvin.)  Calvin and Harriet Haxton



Makers Space for robotics, woodworking and metalworking in the works for Lodi Family Center

Kids playing pool at The Lodi Family Center

I met Rebecca Rak and Mike Gemmer when they were shopping at HGR to find equipment for a good cause: The Lodi Family Center, housed at its current location in 6,000 square feet in the former Lodi Elementary School since 2014. Mike’s background is in IT software and teaching. Rebecca’s is in social services.

This Medina County family center offers a safe social place where peoples’ needs can be assessed and met, including adult programming for those over 55, a food pantry, Project Learn, a personal-care shop for nonfood items, parent support services such as cooking and nutrition classes, a toy shop for kids where they can “purchase” items with coins earned for doing their homework and going to counseling sessions, a study hall, a craft room, a playroom with a puppet theater, 10 laptops and one desktop computer, and an auditorium with a screen and projector.

Coming soon to enhance the robotics and tech club is a Makers Space with a science room, lab and arena for robot battle-war challenges, a wood shop and a metalworking shop. Students will earn coins, as they do for the toy store, to buy supplies, such as aluminum and mother boards, to build robots. Also in the future is an Internet café.

To date, Rebecca and Mike have bought shopping carts, Bunn coffee makers, a paper shredder, cabinets, a dolly and a wind tunnel for the science lab from HGR.

According to Executive Director Rebecca Rak, she began the Lodi Family Center to fill a need in the community after working for 12 years for Family First’s resource center. She was trained in crisis intervention, stress management and as a victim advocate for battered women. She then worked as a liaison with county police departments to help bridge people and connect them with agencies, counselors and resources that can help them. She currently works part time as a dispatcher for the Brunswick City Police Department and the rest of her time at the center.

The family center served 1,404 people in 2015 and an average of 40-60 kids per day this summer. In one week this month, 42 families used the food pantry.

Where does the funding come from? Everything is donated with the exception of small grants that supplied the pool table, filing cabinet and television. There were 121 volunteers in 2015 who rotated to serve and support the center’s needs.

For more information, visit The Lodi Family Center’s Facebook page. The center is open Mondays and Wednesdays 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. for adults, Monday through Thursday 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. for children up to high-school age and is available on Fridays to church, home schooling and community groups.

Reading room at The Lodi Family Center

Thoughts from Justin: Undecided about your career? Consider becoming a machinist.


(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Justin Mobilian, HGR’s sales & marketing summer intern)

With the retirement of the Baby Boomers approaching, many manufacturing and machinist jobs will need to be filled. How many? 2.7 million. The problem? Many millennials lack the skills and experience (myself included).

Why be a machinist?

For starters, you DO NOT need a college degree. I have several friends who opted out of attending college, have a steady job and are doing financially well (if you guessed that they’re a welder, you are correct). Second, the average salary of a machinist in the United States is $41,000 to $46,000 (depending on the state in which you live).

No college debt. Almost guaranteed a job immediately. AND starting pay somewhere in the $40,000s. Still interested? I thought so. Keep reading.

Where to get proper training

Okay. So, now I have your attention. Great. Unfortunately you aren’t going to land a machinist’s job once you finish reading this and applying for a position (I mean, you might), but with a little work you will. If you’re still in high school, there is a good chance your school has a STEM program (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics). If so, enroll. Even if it doesn’t interest you, you’re hurting yourself if you don’t. Who knows, you may love it!

If you’re not in high school (probably 99% of our readers), there is no need to worry. There are PLENTY of ways to get trained and experience to prepare for your future in machining. While it is possible to land a job with no experience, it is recommended to complete an apprenticeship.

In an apprenticeship program, you’ll study anything from machinery trade, operations, CNC programming and much more. These programs can take anywhere from 2-4 years and can be taken at a technical or community college. You may ask how this differs from a college degree, and I don’t blame you. One thing – money. YOU GET PAID TO BE AN APPRENTICE. YOU PAY TO BE A STUDENT. Need I say more?! Didn’t think so.

You completed your apprenticeship. What next? Two options: You can jumpstart into your career as a machinist, OR you can obtain the NIMS Credential (National Institute for Metalworking Skills). This will help you stand out from your competition. Perks of this achievement includes receiving a nationally recognized honor, improved professional image, secured job placement over others and many more. All you have to do is pass an examination, which should come with ease since you just completed a few years of training.

Don’t want an apprenticeship? No worries. Forget about who your best friend is. Google is your new best friend. Use it to your advantage. There are HUNDREDS (if not thousands) of online training classes. Unless you have no Internet access, there is no reason for you to not be able to find online training classes.

Even with all the training you receive, you will never be perfect at the job. That’s why companies require on-the-job training (OJT) to become a highly skilled machinist. All you need to do is land the job. From there on out, your place of employment will take care of you.

Get the training. Get the experience. Get your credentials. Land your dream job. Start earning hard-earned money. Advance your career. Be a machinist.

HGR Industrial Surplus case study: Content marketing impacts organic SEO

Search engine optimization chart including link building

Ever wonder about the marketing value of a blog post for a company and how it can impact sales? Well, read on! Here’s just one example:

Bryan Korecz, HGR’s inbound logistics manager, received a request from one of our trucking companies. They, along with Ace Doran and Bennett International Group, were hosting their Third-Annual Driver Appreciation Day on Sept. 16 at A&H’s facility, 8500 Clinton Road, Brooklyn, Ohio. They were asking for a giveaway donation with HGR’s logo on it. The request was forwarded to the Marketing Department for fulfillment.

I contacted Andrea Cegledy, logistics manager at A&H. We provided them with 50 plastic folder/clipboards with HGR’s logo to be included in a duffel bag that A&H was giving to each driver. Andrea also invited me to the event so that I could blog about it here.

But, it didn’t stop there. I shared the post via Facebook and Twitter with A&H, Ace Doran and Bennett International Group (A&H is a subsidiary of those two larger companies). They all shared the post on their Facebook and Twitter accounts. We got new views, likes and followers from getting in front of their followers, who are exactly the demographic of HGR’s customers.

Then, I contacted all three companies and asked about backlinking from their websites to the blog post (basically, hosting a link on their websites to the blog on our website). A&H and Bennett did so. And, I linked from my blog to their websites to help with their organic SEO efforts.

Bennett is a global transportation company.  Its domain authority (DA) is 36. DA is a search engine ranking tool that awards a score of 1-100 based on three factors: age of the website, popularity and size. Our goal is to increase our DA, which was, as of Oct. 3, 30 by backlinking to our site from companies with higher DA. If we increase our DA, it will improve our site’s search engine optimization (SEO) so that we are found more easily and higher up on the page in a Google search for content that resides within our site, including key words and topics in our blog.

In addition to positively impacting our organic (unpaid) SEO efforts and our ranking, we get in front of potential new customers who will see our website, become aware of us, if they weren’t already or be reminded of us if they were aware, and, potentially, create new customers. Win-win!


Need pallet racks? HGR has a field of them!

Here’s Ken Bridgeport, HGR’s Eye in the Sky, reporting on the football-field-sized pileup of pallet racking outside of HGR Industrial Surplus in Euclid, Ohio:

We have pallet racking we’re looking to move; so, we created a pallet rack request page on our website. If you are interested in pallet racking and have size requirements, fill out the form, and we will assist you! It’s that easy.

And, these aren’t your average videos! Check out our tour guide to Pallet Racking Paradise as a scenic getaway vacation:

One of HGR’s inside sales reps mentors youth at Notre Dame College

diverse group of college students


(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Jason Lockett, HGR inside sales rep)

Q: Notre Dame of Ohio, correct? Your alma mater?

A: Yes, NDC is my alma, and I graduated in 2010 with a B.S. in marketing.

Q: How and why did the mentoring program get started?

A: Bill Leamon started this program three years ago. He’s a professor, as well. Bill is extremely passionate about helping others and is committed to grow this program outside of NDC and in other colleges/universities.

Q: Why did you get involved?

A: The pilot program was introduced at NDC last year, and it was a huge success. Our mentees were paired with professionals with similar backgrounds, personality traits and interests. Last year, there were 23 mentees with 20 mentors. Our mentors interacted with their mentees at least once per week to assist with various challenges, including but not limited to deciding majors, picking classes, managing time, part-time job assistance, managing money and the overall transition from high school to college.

Q: What does the group do? How does each mentor help its mentee or work with him/her, how often, in what ways?

A: The main goal is to help each student with the transition from high school to college in order to reduce the dropout rate during each student’s freshman year.

Q: How does the mentee get a mentor or become part of the program?

A: We receive recommendations from Admissions and academic advisors.

Q: Any interesting/inspiring stories from last year’s experience?

A: Overall, it was a great experience for everyone, and we plan on expanding schools in the near future. Also, we are trying to get donors for scholarships for our students.

Q: In your opinion, what is the importance of education or training?

A: The program started three years ago, and I joined last year. Studies show that first-generation college students that come from low-income families have the highest possibility of dropping out of college within their first year. The largest success of this group is the scholarship due to the structure provided by the athletic program. This program was created with a few goals in mind:

  1. To provide mentorship to incoming college students
  2. To provide leadership opportunities to upperclassman that are committed to help
  3. To reduce the dropout rate of college students in their first year
  4. To break and create cycles within families where the older siblings are acquiring college degrees
  5. To create leaders within families to be not only an example, but the pioneer to promote higher education

Firefighters teach elementary-school children about fire prevention

Silhouette of two firefighters fighting blazing fire and timber

The Firefighter Phil Program brings free fire-safety lessons into elementary schools nationwide since 1975 to teach K-4 schoolchildren the functions and roles of the fire department, actions they can take to prevent fires in the home, and actions to take if a fire occurs. This is accomplished via a 30-minute, entertaining, school-assembly program using magic, games, songs, jokes and puppets to teach children about fire safety and prevention, fire drills, escape plans, 911, fire hazards, kitchen safety, smoke alarms, stop – drop –roll, get out & stay out, stay low & go, two ways out, and respect for authority figures.

One of Firefighter Phil’s animal pals stops by to teach the lessons with a member of the local fire department. To reinforce what students learned in the live presentation, each child is given a grade-specific activity book to take home. The program is made possible through advertisements in the activity book that are purchased by the local business community, including HGR Industrial Surplus. In addition to the satisfaction of helping teach children fire safety and potentially save lives, the businesses receive a certificate of appreciation signed by the fire chief.

This year, Assistant Chief Anderson of the Euclid Fire Department or one of his Euclid firefighters will visit Arbor Elementary School, Bluestone Elementary School, Chardon Hills Elementary School, Our Lady of the Lake School, Shoreview Elementary School and Saints Robert & William Catholic School in honor of National Fire Prevention Week, Oct. 9-15 and present to 1,700 students.


Euclid Fire Department shield patch

Machine-tool company retrofits equipment for Amish use

Amish farmer

HGR Frequent Shopper Steve Timothy works full time as a millwright at Charter Steel. Sullivan Machine Tooling is his “side job” that he started in 2013 to build as his future retirement job. It all started in 2009 when he bought a 1977 Lincoln Electric doghouse welder, his “newest” piece of equipment, to make repairs for himself. Since he lives in Sullivan, Ohio, a heavily Amish community, his Amish neighbors knew he could weld and asked him to fix farm implements for them. That’s when he started doing repair work. Sometimes, rather than repairing a piece of equipment, it was easier to buy it from HGR and haul it home. So, Timothy began to buy equipment, fix and resell it, as well as haul equipment for the Amish in his community.

Since Amish do not use electricity, they adapt all electrical shop equipment to run off a line shaft with a belt drive. Some of the most common pieces of equipment that Sullivan Machine Tool has adapted include lathes, drill presses that carpenters and metal workers use, and pantographs designed to engrave jewelry that they convert into finish sanders for carpentry use with a rotary orbital head fit into a column with a moveable arm. Timothy says he has used a drill press for the same thing. In an Amish shop, a diesel engine powers a line shaft that runs the length of the shop under the floor and runs on V-belts. Diesel fuel is used because it is more efficient than gasoline.

In Timothy’s shop, he has a 1926 South Bend lathe, a 1937 South Bend lathe, a 1954 Bridgeport mill, a 1954 Cincinnati Bickford drill press that he bought from HGR, a small press and a car lift, plus all the machinery he is converting and tools in a 26-feet-by-30-feet pole barn. He transports equipment he purchases in an F450 dump truck and trailer with a moveable gantry crane and engine hoist.

He says that an Amish machine shop down the road runs a 17,000-pound shear (purchased from HGR), an ironworker, a press brake, lathes and a radial arm drill press, all nonelectrical. It has a tub on the roof to collect rainwater that is gravity-fed into a faucet sink since only well water with a pump would be used. A sawmill in his town uses a $20,000, three-sided planer for flooring and molding. It can plane flat surfaces, profiles and relief cuts. The planer had separate motors but the owner built belt drives and uses a diesel engine to drive the line shaft.

Sullivan Machine Tool does not advertise in local newspapers or online. All of his business is in the Sullivan and Homerville area and done by word of mouth as one person tells another person during their Sunday socials.

When shopping HGR, Timothy watches and purchase online unless there is something he needs to come up in order to check the condition. Then he makes the trip to transport an entire truckload at once. Currently, he has his eye on two gear hobbing machines that he will either use to make his own gears or sell to his Amish customers. The units are not complete; so, he is trying to solve the problem as to how to complete them to make them functional. He purchased a tool grinder with no attachments, pulled the motor off, and mounted a shaft for a drill press. He enjoys repurposing equipment for use as something other than what it was intended.

Timothy lives on 2.5 acres with his wife. His father-in-law lives on the property next door. He has a daughter who is a vet tech and a son who is a business major at The University of Akron. This man loves to keep busy and says he probably never will retire. Do you have a side job? Are a hobbyist? How do you feel about “retirement?”


Manufacturing Day is happening this week

According to Zara Brunner on the Manufacturing Extension Partnership’s blog: “Manufacturing enables our everyday lives, drives our economy and can bring communities across the country together. This infographic represents how manufacturing is diverse, supports 18.5-million U.S. jobs and has a multitude of career opportunities, including engineers, designers, machinists and computer programmers. Just in time for this year’s Manufacturing Day on Oct. 7, it’s been updated to represent the amazing results of MFG Day 2015.”

How will you or your company be observing or celebrating manufacturing this Friday?

Manufacturing Day infographic

Old things not wanted by one person become another’s treasure

Inside of antique mall

It’s funny how blogs come about. Like much business that takes place, it’s often word of mouth. Someone who knows someone who knows someone. So, this story starts when I attending a Euclid Chamber of Commerce committee meeting to organize its Amazing-Race-style scavenger hunt taking place on Sept. 9 (read this blog about how to register). Sheila Gibbons, chamber president, mentions an antique mall, Antiques & Uniques, Wickliffe, Ohio, that she likes to browse through because I had mentioned an item that I was looking for and had asked if there were any resale or thrift stores in the area (I live in Medina County and drive to Euclid for work; so, I don’t know the area well.).

This mention bubbles around in my mind for a couple of weeks. Then, one day, I think how much like an antique store HGR is. Both take items that an owner no longer wants, needs or finds useful and tries to resell them so they can be recycled or upcycled and stay out of landfills. We both try to match the right product to the right customer. We have rows and rows of items. And, our customers come in to spend hours just looking. Sometimes they take something home, and sometimes they don’t. But we get new items all the time; so, people are repeat visitors.

I decided to take a trip to Antiques & Uniques and chat with Tom Berges, who co-owns the store with his wife, Barb. Berges says, “I was the part owner and managed an antique store in Painesville with other business partners. Eventually, I moved on to start my own business.” Antiques & Uniques opened April 2015 with full inventory. Berges says that he didn’t even need to advertise to find vendors. Many of his contacts and people that he had worked with in the past opened stalls in his store. He currently has 100 vendors, and about 200 people are waiting to get in. Business has been good.

But, the connection to HGR gets even weirder. Six degrees-of-separation weird. Berges happens to be an HGR customer. He walked me through the store and pointed out the carts, desks, tables, whiteboards, shelves and lockers that he has purchased to outfit the store. He also told me that many of his vendors shop at HGR. I was introduced to Rodney who has pallets in his stall. He also has a vintage metal locker that he purchased from HGR and cleaned up to resell. Then, I met Robin, the store manager, who used to own a warehouse and bought pallet racking and pallet jacks from HGR.

After all, business is cyclical. What have you purchased from HGR to reuse? How have you put it to use?

HGR Industrial Surplus - Antiques & Uniques relationship map

Ever have a filling? A local manufacturing company shapes the drills’ cutting edges.

Dentist with drill

William Sopko and Sons Co., located at 26500 Lakeland Blvd., Euclid, Ohio, was started in 1952 in the basement of current owner Bill Sopko Sr.’s parents’ home on East 267th Street. His dad, also Bill, worked in the Maintenance Department at Tapco (now TRW) after returning home from serving in the U.S. Navy during World War II. Prior to the war, he worked at Ohio Ball Bearing Company (now Applied Technologies) in the Spindle Repair Department.

Bill Sr., says, “Many people do not know what a spindle is. It is NOT the wood spindle on a staircase. In industry, the spindle assembly has a shaft that is mounted on bearings and turns at high speeds. The special bearings must support both radial and axial pressures. On the end of the shaft an adaptor holds either a grinding wheel or a cutting tool. The higher the speed, the more precise the spindle must be.”

Since his father had two young children at the time, one of them being Bill, Sr., Bill Sopko decided to go out on his own and start a business, William Sopko and Sons Co. His wife, Mary, did the paperwork. They picked Euclid as home because it was the perfect place to have a family and establish a business. In the early 1950s, Euclid was booming with industry.  Then they had two more kids to make a family of six.

Mary died in 1967 and Bill in 1974. The business still was located in the basement on East 267th Street. In 1971, Bill Sr. graduated from college, got married and rented a small block building on St. Clair Avenue. He purchased a milling machine, saw and surface grinder. Prior to this he had outsourced all of his manufacturing to local shops, many still in business today. In 1976, the company moved out of the basement into a building on Lakeland Boulevard in Wickliffe. In the early 1990s it needed more space and moved back to Euclid into the company’s current location on Lakeland Boulevard.

The current business has three segments, all related to precision grinding and machining. First, it is a precision spindle repair service company that rebuilds all types of ball and roller-bearing spindles. Most popular are surface grinders, cutter grinders, internal grinders, Moore Jig grinders, both foreign and domestic. The company has rebuilt more than 10,000 precision spindles during the past 64 years. Second, it manufactures grinding accessories that include wheel adapters, internal grinding quills, collet chuck quills, extensions, flanges, spacers and precision wheel screws. Finally, the company is a stocking distributor for spindle-related products. Its major lines include Dumore hand grinders, tool post grinders, parts, spindles and drill units, and Gates power transmission products including flat spindle belts, poly vee, variable speed and vee belts.

Sopko and Sons employs experienced machine technicians who can run manual lathes, CNC turning and milling machines and a complete precision grinding department to grind its products and spindle repair components, as required. Sopko does not do contact grinding for other companies. Grinding shops are its customers, and it does not compete against them. According to Bill Sr., “Some common applications of our precision spindles include forming and sharpening the cutting edges on the tiny drills the dentist uses to drill your teeth for a filling. Some spindles are used to grind hardened ball bearings, automotive engine blocks and jet aircraft components.”

Currently, the third generation is involved with the company. Bill Jr., Brian and Jillian Sopko all are on board to continue to serve valued customers all over the country.  With regard to the future, Bill Sr. says, “The future will have many technical advancements affecting the whole world. People in manufacturing will make products of tomorrow using precision machine tools. Our business will adjust to this new technology as it is discovered, and we will continue to service and supply the needs of the new century.”

William Sopko and Sons logo

Acclaimed multimedia Los Angeles artist shops for inspiration at HGR

Luddite by James Georgopoulos
Luddite in MAMA Gallery
Steel, aluminum, titanium, rubber, concrete, copper, automotive finish, brass, powder coating and electronic components with 35:00 minute single channel video
80 × 79 × 53 in
203.2 × 200.7 × 134.6 cm
James Georgopoulos 2016
Photo Courtesy of MAMA Gallery


(Courtesy of Guest Blogger and HGR Frequent Shopper James Georgopoulos, multimedia artist)

James Georgopoulos works with painting, sculpture and video installation to address a relationship between highly skilled production techniques, pop culture and taboo iconography. He began creating visual works at age 14, and his father was an avid art collector. He relocated from the East Coast to Los Angeles in the early 90s to work in the film industry, including as an art director for commercials and music videos, including Pink Floyd’s “Take it Back.” Georgopoulous’ work can be found in collections around the world.

Currently, his solo show at MAMA Gallery in Los Angeles is buoyed by four major new video sculptures that the artist created out of found, fabricated, and handmade materials. The Earth Is Flat is an interrogation of artificially intelligent systems and the values and hazards implicit to autonomous computing. The title of the exhibition emanates from the certainty that we are at a precipice, akin to the era when a flat world was the predominant theory about the form of the Earth. Theorists and technologists—Bill Gates, Elon Musk, and Stephen Hawking among them—believe that we are presumably in a technological stone age, and that artificial intelligence will continue to develop rapidly and exponentially in spite of warnings and omens.

Luddite by James Georgopoulos in MAMA Gallery, Los Angeles

An HGR employee literally goes the extra mile to serve our customers

HGR employee Chuck Leonard

I heard through the grapevine that a couple of HGR employees commute 1.5 hours from the Erie, Pa., area to come to work! Whew, and I thought that my 34-mile, one-hour commute from Medina County was far. This just proves what a great place HGR is to work. Because of that, it attracts dedicated employees and who are willing to “go the extra mile” to keep us up and running on all cylinders.

One of those employees is Chuck Leonard. Here’s what he had to say about why he does what he does:

“I have been here since Day 1. I am one of the original employees who came from McKean Machinery. I am the receiving supervisor. We unload trucks, and I make sure everything gets set up to be inventoried. The reason I have stayed so long is I like who I work for — the owners. I’ve always been treated fair, and that’s very important to me. I’ve watched this company grow tremendously over the years and feel like I have contributed to get to where we are now. To set the record straight I don’t drive from Erie on a daily basis. I stay at my mother’s during the work week, which is still a 45-minute drive. I go home every Friday and drive in from Erie on Mondays. I’ve been doing it for so long its second nature.”

Thanks, Chuck, for 18 great years and, here’s to many more!


A&H Trucking hosts third-annual Driver Appreciation Day

Ice cream truck at A&H Trucking Driver Appreciation Day

Ever wonder how all the amazing items in HGR’s showroom get here? We don’t have our own big rigs, but we work with a number of riggers and trucking companies to make it all happen, from enclosed trailers and flatbeds to step decks. One of those companies is A&H Trucking, Parts & Repair, Brooklyn, Ohio. According to Bryan Korecz, HGR’s inbound logistics manager, “Anything we need, they usually have. They do a lot of the local stuff we buy and, occasionally, ship out items that we sell.”

On Sept. 16 from 12 to 4 p.m., A&H and Ace Doran Hauling & Rigging hosted its third-annual Driver Appreciation Day as part of National Driver Appreciation Week. About 40 drivers plus more than 30 customers, vendors and industry relationships (like HGR) stop in to have lunch provided by Famous Dave’s BBQ and an ice cream truck, play some cornhole and feel the love. Many of the vendors and industry contacts donate items for raffles and giveaways. The money raised in the raffle goes into a driver relief fund.

A&H was started by Bob Abernethy (now deceased) and Bill Hoag in 1981. At that time, the company did not own any of its trucks and used all owner-operator rigs. Now, A&H has 22 company trucks, uses 20 owner-operators, has a full-service truck repair shop and is a Vanguard trailer and tractor parts distributor. Its drivers are required to attend two safety meetings each year. The company is an agent for Ace Doran Hauling & Rigging in order to leverage a larger company’s safety, billing department, and insurance claims processing resources. It’s a family-owned-and-run enterprise. And, it feels like family.

I sat at a table with one of the company’s retired drivers who had a trucking accident a little over a year ago. While he was recovering, Bill took him and his family to dinner, checked on him and continues to invite him back to this event even though he’s no longer driving. This was the kind of event where you felt like you knew everyone and made friends with people who share common interests. I own a retired Thoroughbred racehorse. This driver’s dad used to breed and train Standardbreds at Northfield Park. A sales rep at Rush Truck Centers breeds and trains Thoroughbreds and races them at Thistledown. We may go on a trail ride!

And, like a lot of businesses that I run across, A&H happens to be a customer of HGR. Many items in its facility have come from our showroom, including its shelving units. HGR started working with A&H just three years ago when the company partnered with one of our carriers. They inherited us and have continued to do a great job.

Thanks A&H for trucking our equipment, inviting us to your event and for introducing me to new friends.

Owner Bill Hoag of A&H Trucking at Driver Appreciation Day
A&H Trucking’s Owner Bill Hoag on the right in the striped shirt

HGR’s Austin Call Center places first in the Austin Fit Challenge

Austin Fit Challenge HGR team photo

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Cynthia Vassaur, HGR’s call center manager) 

The Austin Fit Challenge was held on Sept. 10, 2016. This the second year that the HGR Call Center has participated, and while they were pleased with their fifth-place status last year, they are SUPER EXCITED to have earned first place in 2016.

The Austin Fit Challenge brings companies together from all over the city to compete. First, the companies are grouped by size. HGR Industrial Surplus falls into the Micro Division (small company). There were a total of seven teams in this division. Then each group is given a list of courses and each challenge within the course. Each course must be completed within the allotted time or participants do not earn points. The event is held at Zilker Park in Austin, Texas.

The team arrived at 8:30 a.m. for its 10 a.m. slot. This allowed for plenty of time to stretch, sign in, and to get mentally prepared. At 9:30 a.m., the team was called into action. The micro-division only allows for four members per course each time. The HGR employees broke into two groups of four. Cynthia’s son Mario was able to step in at the last minute and fill in for an HGR employee who was not able to make it. Cynthia’s daughter Olivia was the photographer/cheerleader. She ran back and forth between both HGR teams for photos and support.

Overall, everyone enjoyed the competition, camaraderie and the motivation of working together as team toward a common goal. Time to get ready for next year! Below is a sample of the courses.

Course 1 – 5-minute cap

Inverted Rows – 30 reps

Sandbag Slams – 80 (men 15lb/Female 10lb)

Push-ups – 80 reps

Kettlebell Swings – 80 (men 35lb/women 25lb)

Sit-ups – 80 reps

Burpees – 40 reps

Plank hold – 60 seconds

Course 2 – 6-minute cap



Mystery course


Course 3 – best time

2-mile run

HGR's team doing push ups in the Austin Fit Challenge

Thoughts from Justin: Need a reason to stay in Ohio? Look no further! It’s in the Top 3 for manufacturing.

Ohio map

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Justin Mobilian, former HGR sales & marketing summer intern)


I love social media; it’s how I stay up-to-date on trends, news, and complaints. The number one complaint? Needing a new place to move to. If you can relate and want something different, you’re in luck. I’ve researched the Top 10 states for manufacturing. And, guess what? Ohio is on the list!

1. California

The Golden State. In my opinion, I wouldn’t consider California as The Golden State anymore after losing to the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals, but that’s just me. Anyways, California can rely on its manufacturing industry to be successful since Steph Curry and his team fail to do so. California’s manufacturing GDP is currently at $255.63B, about 4.3 percent higher than last year and is expected to continue rising. Afraid you won’t be able to find a job? Don’t be. California accounted for more than 1.2 million manufacturing employees in 2015.

2. Texas

3. Ohio

Ohio. Do I really need to explain why you should move to Ohio? With a deep history in manufacturing, there’s no reason you shouldn’t consider Ohio as your next place to live and work. Last year, there were nearly 690,000 manufacturing jobs in Ohio and almost $100B in total manufacturing output. Added benefits of this beautiful state include Ohio State University, the Cleveland Cavaliers, HGR Industrial Surplus, and many more!

4. Pennsylvania

5. Michigan (‘M’s are struck through out of respect for The Ohio State Buckeyes)

As an Ohio native and Ohio State Buckeyes fan, please be smarter than moving to Michigan. I’m not saying you’ll regret the decision, but you’ll probably regret the decision. Nothing good comes out of Michigan, EXCEPT for great manufacturing. The state of Michigan accounted for more than $82B in manufacturing output in 2014, with almost 600,000 manufacturing jobs in 2015. The average annual compensation of the industry is almost $80,000. The sports in Michigan? Poor, average at best. The manufacturing industry in Michigan? Booming.

6. Illinois

7. Indiana

For decades, Indiana has been the Cleveland Browns of the manufacturing industry – depressing. However, over the past five years, much has changed. Since 2015, manufacturers accounted for 29.5 percent of the state’s total output, with more than 500,000 manufacturing employees.

8. Wisconsin

9. New York

Broadway and showbiz aren’t the only things helping drive the economy in New York; manufacturing sits up there, too. With almost $70B in manufactured goods and $22B in exported goods, more than 450,000 people are in the manufacturing business with an annual pay of more than $71,000.

10. North Carolina


If you’re a manufacturing employee and are unhappy with your living situation, you’ve hit gold by stumbling on this blog. These are the best places to move to where the manufacturing industry is thriving, but Ohio stays near and dear to my heart.

Local restaurant owners treat customers like family

Mama Catena and Papa Catena
Mama and Papa Catena

At HGR Industrial Surplus, family is everything. The owners and employees are a family, and our customers are part of that family. So, it’s always great to find other local businesses that feel the same. Some of the salespeople at HGR have told me about Mama Catena’s then I was at a Euclid Chamber of Commerce committee meeting where Mama Catena (yes, there really is a Mama who owns and works every day at Mama Catena’s) was mentioned again. The chamber uses Mama Catena’s for catering, most recently for the Amazing Race event. They said that she hand makes her pasta and rolls the cavatelli just like my great grandmother, real name Rose but always called Gram, used to do. In case you couldn’t tell from my name – part Italian.

Gram taught me how to make ravioli, manicotti, gnocchi, cavatelli, spaghetti, sauce, pizza and fried dough from scratch. She passed away about 30 years ago; so, when I heard about Mama Catena, I knew I had to make a trip. I wasn’t disappointed. I was warmly welcomed. Mama, Papa (married for 62 years) and their daughter Fran took time to chat with me for about 20 minutes about Italy, food and family. I asked Mama why she decided to open a restaurant. She says, “For my kids.” Fran explained that they had a big family and used to cook for everyone in the basement (just like my other, Ukrainian, grandma did when she made perogi). Then, when Fran’s father retired after many years as a masonry contractor, they decided to open a family restaurant with Fran’s sister, Rina. Her two brothers are a policeman and a pilot. Fran says they don’t work at the restaurant but they love to eat there!

In business since 1989, the family hugs and kisses its customers. Fran says, as she chokes up, “We get thank-you notes from diners and are told they feel like a table number everywhere else, not like a person. I get choked up. Our customers are like family.” To further pamper customers, the Catenas offer “blind dining” where they talk to their guests, see what they like, then cook a dish for them based on their preferences that may not be on the menu. For someone who is gluten intolerant or on a low-carb diet, they will use a spiralizer to make zucchini noodles. Also on the menu are Papa’s homemade cured olives and pickled eggplant. Prepare yourself for some garlic!

This way of treating customers has allowed the business to thrive. Two years ago, it expanded its dining room into the space next door. The restaurant also placed third on the Fox 8 Hot List Best Italian. Fran states, “We are extremely proud of serving our Euclid community for the last 27 years.”

Buon appetito!

Wish you had a leather couch covered in vintage car upholstery?

Euclid Heat Treating leather couch

In a prior blog and “Hit the Ground Running” column in The Euclid Observer and The Collinwood Observer, I mentioned how John E. Vanas of Euclid Heat Treating bought some interior leather upholstery from Ford Motor Company at HGR Industrial Surplus and used it to upholster a couch.

Vanas says, “Here is the couch we had covered with the saddle-colored interior upholstery from Ford. It was made in Cleveland by the Lincoln Lounge Company some time before 1964 when the company closed. From what I can tell, they were headquartered in the Williamson Building downtown. This building sat where the Key Tower now stands.”

Euclid Heat Treating Leather Couch

HGR had two teams in Euclid’s Amazing Race and was one of the stops

amazing-raceThe Euclid Chamber of Commerce brought The Amazing Race to Euclid, Ohio, and HELP Foundation hosted team registration and the post-race celebration at its Adult Day Support Program.

I was a member of the planning committee, and HGR sent two teams to compete as well as being one of the stops on the route. Here are photos of some of HGR’s participants:

HGR Amazing Race teams
One of HGR’s teams at the front table comprised of Beth, Kim, Tina and April with Smitty on the far left
HGR's Amazing Race Team
Joe and Smitty
HGR's Amazing Race team launching marshmallows
Beth launching marshmallows to April

Tina Dick, HGR’s human resources manager, recaps some of the stops in the race: “At soccer golf at Briardale Golf Course, April Quintiliano made a new friend named Rosie while Beth Hietanen and I kicked the ball down the green. Kim Todd did an amazing job climbing the rock wall. “Ain’t no mountain high enough” for KT. It also was interesting to hear that the Cleveland Rock Gym has been part of Euclid for more than 20 years. I lived in Euclid for close to 15 years and never knew it existed; my kids would have loved it! Our Lady of Lourdes National Shrine is as beautiful as ever and was probably the nicest surprise. I had been there but my teammates never had. The NEO Sports Plant looks amazing, and chair volleyball is a blast! It would be a great event for HGR staff. HGR’s amazing showroom was new for many participants. The gift baskets, pizza and subs were a great end at HELP Foundation. Euclid Chamber did an “amazing” job putting this together. Count me in next year. We had some challenges but our team finished!”

Joe Powell, HGR’s graphic designer, who was teamed with Steve “Smitty” Smith, says, “Smitty came up limping while sprinting to the first task at Atlas Cinemas. For the rest of the race he played navigator, and I took care of the events. I couldn’t hit a free throw to save my life, but instead moved back to the three-point line and made six in a row. We were neck and neck with another team for the last task, and I had to slide a la baseball style in front of them for a second-place finish. Overall, it was a fun experience, and I saw parts of Euclid that I will revisit in future because of this.

We know how to have some laughs at HGR

Jenga boxes in HGR office


Yes, one of our manager’s employees really did this!!! When your boss is a hoarder of empty boxes, and he is out of the office this is what happens.

The employee told him for weeks that she would do it. He all but dared her to when he was out. She let it go for a while and figured he would forget. He walked into this on a Monday morning.

If only we had gotten a picture of the look on his face! And, it’s not even April Fool’s Day. Have you ever played a practical joke on someone at work? Have you played Jenga before? I bet not with boxes.


Book Review: Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds and Actions by Guy Kawasaki

Enchantment by Guy Kawasaki

Enchantment is a business book that can be applied to any situation or relationship, but especially helps managers “enchant” their direct reports and any employee “enchant” his or her manager. According to Kawasaki’s introduction, “Enchantment transforms situations and relationships, converts hostility into civility and civility into affinity. It changes skeptics and cynics into believers and the undecided into the loyal.”

He sets out to cover negotiation skills to overcome resistance and motivate others to internalize your values in a lasting way that can be applied to business and personal interactions. Who doesn’t need those? The main tactics involve enlisting others’ goals and desires, being likable and trustworthy, and framing a cause others can embrace. You need to read the book to find out HOW to do so. I will give you a hint though: reciprocity, diversity, and use of technology.

Kawasaki says that with these tactics the reader will be prepared to launch “an enchantment campaign.” He uses the story of Apple’s Macintosh as an example and encourages readers to think of their own Enchantment Hall of Fame list, including products that are deep, intelligent, complete, empowering and elegant (car = Mustang, city = Istanbul, airline = Virgin, political leader = Nelson Mandela).

Some of his advice may sound unorthodox, such as creating crow’s feet around your eyes (a la George Clooney), being passionate, selectively cussing (yes, as in using profanity for emphasis), learning from The Grateful Dead, and thinking Japanese by using Zen design principles to enhance presentations. He also mentions money and success are not the biggest motivators, take Wikipedia’s grassroots success as compared with Microsoft’s millions wasted on failed Encarta — similar product, one started by a successful company with lots of money to invest.

For me, what resonated the most were Chapters 10 (How to Enchant Your Employees) and 11 (How to Enchant Your Boss). In a nutshell, he says that money is often not the sole or primary motivator. Managers need to provide their reports with an opportunity to achieve mastery, autonomy and purpose (MAP). Sounds like employee engagement and recognition initiatives here at PNC? On page 159, he provides a checklist to determine how good of (and enchanting) a boss you are. On the flip side, the steps to enchanting your boss include making him/her look good, dropping everything to do what he/she asks, under promising and over delivering, prototyping your work, showing and broadcasting progress, forming professional friendships, asking for mentoring and delivering bad news early. Makes sense! Some of this you have heard before, but in this book, it’s the “why” that’s an interesting and easy read.

I first became familiar with Kawasaki through LinkedIn. If you like what he has to say, you might be interested in following him, too.

Thoughts from Justin: Meet HGR Frequent Shopper Larry Raven

HGR Customer Larry Raven

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Justin Mobilian, HGR’s sales & marketing summer intern)

Last month, you might remember that we interviewed Don Bartley, a frequent shopper at HGR. This time, we interviewed his friend, Larry Raven, who also is from Willoughby Hills, Ohio.

How did you hear about HGR?

To tell you the truth, it has been so long ago. It has been about eight years. Somebody probably told me about it; otherwise, I wouldn’t have known – oh wait! They were doing a lot of advertising on the TV. They were pretty good on the sports channel, and when I saw their advertisement, I knew I had to go.

What’s your favorite thing about HGR?

Being able to come down here, walk, meet people – instead of going to the mall to walk, I come here because it’s more interesting *laughs*.

So are you going to have lunch with us today?

Oh hell yes! That’s what I’m here for!

What do you usually buy here?

Over the years, I know I’m well over $50,000 that I’ve spent here already, and it’s just on a hobby. I was an aircraft mechanic for 20 years. And then I was a set-up man at a brush factory for 30 years. I’m a mechanic, so I’m going to look for anything mechanical. That’s what I like about HGR – here, I buy a lot of drills, reamers, that type of stuff. I don’t NEED anything, but like I said, it’s a hobby.

I just come in to look for different stuff. I try to upgrade what I have at home. Down in my basement, I have a lathe, a mill, drill press, and a band saw, and then back in the barn I’ve got another two horizontal saws.

What do you make?

I fix stuff up. Right now I’m working on lawnmowers. I got a friend of mine; he gave me two lawnmowers where the engines blew. By coming here, I met another guy who knows another guy – where he works, they bring in brand new stuff, except maybe they have a problem. So, I go in and buy the brand-spanking-new engines and put them in my lawnmowers. It’s got 23 horsepower; so, I just use it as a way to travel from my house to my barn!

But everything I do, it’s always mechanical. I’m building up my workshop back in the barn. Down in my basement I have my workshop for the wintertime. I’ve been retired for 10 years. All my free time goes straight to my projects when I’m not walking the aisles of HGR.

Thanks Larry, for being such a valuable customer. Enjoy your lunch!

Local businesses invest in each other

Four hands holding a house to represent good neighbors

HGR’s owners are dedicated to the Euclid community, including supporting other businesses, and they, in turn, support us. Our CMO sits on the board of the Euclid Chamber of Commerce, and I am on a committee to organize the chamber’s Amazing Race fundraiser taking place this Friday. I write the monthly “Hit the Ground Running” column in both The Euclid Observer and The Collinwood Observer to showcase area manufacturers, the products they make and their contributions to the workforce. We also are very involved with Euclid High School’s S.T.E.M. program and Robotics Club. In 2014, we bought our building and have invested in renovations and improvements.

To continue our support of the community, I have gone out and met with many amazing organizations and businesses in the area and blogged about many of them, such as HELP Foundation, The Cleveland-Style Polka Hall of Fame and Museum, NEO Sports Plant, The Twelve Literary and Performing Arts Incubator, artists Jerry Schmidt and Larry Fielder of The Waterloo Arts District, Euclid Historical Society and Museum, Euclid Art Association, Euclid Beach Park Museum, and Our Lady of Lourdes National Shrine.

There are two other businesses that I recently discovered. One is newer; and one is an institution that has been in the neighborhood since the 1970s. If you are looking for a good cup of coffee in the area, where do you go? No Starbucks. I found myself driving to Speedway for a cup to go. Then, Tami Honkala of HELP Foundation told me about an Arabica tucked away in the back of a medical building off a side street. They have no website, no sign, no advertising. No one but the tenants of the medical building know they exist even though they have been at that location since 2012.

I headed over to the Euclid Office Plaza at Richmond Road and Euclid Avenue for a look. I met the owner, Ronny, and got excited that I could get a mocha or a latte. The only problem was: NO DECAF! I stopped drinking caffeine years ago and only order decaf espresso. They don’t have it. This is a coffee house that is not for sissies. They also have food, including a salad bar, and offer catering services.

The longstanding local health food store, Webers, at 18400 Euclid Avenue, is owned by Bill Weber and his daughter-in-law Clara Weber. They carry many of the products I regularly buy on Amazon and eBay. Clara even was willing to special order some products they didn’t have in stock. When I shared with her where I worked, she told me that they were HGR customers and had purchased a forklift that they regularly use to unload inventory from delivery trucks.

What comes around goes around. It’s always good practice to be a good neighbor.


Who started Labor Day, a machinist or a carpenter?

Labor Day with American flag tool belt

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, “Labor Day is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers.” Now, that’s something to celebrate! Hopefully, you get a day off from laboring so that you can recharge your battery and enjoy whatever it is that you love most. For many of our customers, that includes building, fixing and creating things. And, Labor Day was founded by a hardworking tradesman, but which man?

Some say that Matthew Maguire, machinist, proposed the holiday for American workers in the 1880s, but others argue that it was Peter J. McGuire, carpenter. Either way, it was a great idea, and two Fathers of Labor Day is even better than one.

Thank you, to these two gentlemen and to all of you, for the hard work that you do to keep American manufacturing going. Everything we use to make our lives easier was made by someone. Remember him or her as you use some of those products each day, especially today.


An update on Euclid High School’s new robotics class and call for CAD help!

Euclid High School Students working with Lego robotic kits donated by HGR

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Bob Torrelli, Science Department chair and Robotics Team coach, Euclid High School)

The students have been here for two weeks, and things are settling in very nicely this year, considering the 8th grade has moved to the high school. The robotics class is running with 22 students. It is a semester class, and the same amount are already signed up for next semester. So far, the students are loving it. We have been doing a lot of building and cooperative learning activities to build team working relationships. The mission statement that I introduced them to for the class is: “Growing consumers of technology into creators of technology.” And the goal is for them to have group success through individual achievement.

We will do the robotics club and team again this year. That starts in October. Stay tuned!

FYI, the Lego robotic kits the students are using were donated by HGR Industrial Surplus.

Is there anyone who, as soon as possible, would be willing to work with and help the students learn basic CAD skills? If so, leave a comment here or contact Gina at HGR with your info. We are in need!  

EHS Robotics Class

Euclid Heat Treating keeps it local

Locomotive engineCleveland historically has been a town of entrepreneurs, startups and family businesses, especially in the manufacturing and industrial sector. In this column, each month we continue the manufacturing conversation, because manufacturing is what this town was built on, and manufacturing continues to sustain it.

Another company right in your backyard that you probably are not familiar with is Euclid Heat Treating. Heat treaters harden, test and package metal parts that have been stamped, machined, cast or forged. It was started in 1946 by John J. Vanas, a metallurgical engineer and graduate of Case School of Applied Science. . He grew up in Euclid, on E.222nd Street, and in 1945, he started his business in the garage behind his home. Originally called The Engineered Heat Treating Company or “THETCO,” the primary focus was to service the growing tool-and-die manufacturing in the area.

Three generations later, John J’s son, John H. Vanas, his grandson, John E. Vanas, and two granddaughters lead the company; and, there’s a fourth generation, John A. Vanas, who still is too young to come work for his great-grandpa’s enterprise. John E. says, “East 222nd Street was a major industrial artery for the city and for Euclid, a hub for such industries as automotive, aerospace, machine tool, and heavy equipment manufacturing.. As these core markets declined through the 1980s, Euclid Heat Treating already had strategically diversified as heat treating technology advanced. Processes evolved and differentiated from the rudimentary, but no-less critical, pack carburizing and salt bath hardening, to controlled atmosphere hardening, vacuum hardening, nitriding, and induction hardening. Further diversity was achieved by adding specialized machinery that could accommodate parts of vastly different geometries and sizes. They continue to reinvest in emerging technology and state-of-the-art process controls to ensure the best possible results. The company that built its foundation on heat treating tool steel maintains that focus but has its fingers in many diverse processes, and it claims to be the most diverse and versatile heat treater in Ohio.

John E. explains that heat treating, though rarely recognized or understood, is fundamental in all of our lives. Heat treating plays a role in the design and function of products we rely on every day, from such ubiquitous items as gas pump latches, automotive hood locks, seat anchors, bearings, axles and shift levers, to more unusual applications like metal injection-molded parts used in compact handguns, specially blended alloy parts for use in the hazardous environments of the nuclear and chemical industries, and locomotive engine components.

While speaking with John H.., he mentioned that although Cleveland no longer is the heart of the machine tool industry as it was before business started going to Japan and China, it was at one time so important that it was worth protecting with Nike missile silos positioned throughout the area. , He also says the industry still is thriving. “A lot of big companies are gone, but the business has been spread out to subcontractors. The large companies had their own heat treating facilities that often were not cost effective; so, the industry has benefitted. There’s still a concentration of heat treating companies in Cleveland and a robust market due to manufacturing in the area,” he states. “We’ve developed a reputation for being quality oriented and for taking on higher-risk jobs. Customers contact us on referrals from other heat treaters if it’s not in their wheelhouse. We are specialists rather than generalists or parts pushers. We pay attention to details, controls and customers’ needs through precision and diversification over volume.”

When asked about his greatest challenge, he says emphatically, “Finding employees, not just skilled employees because we can train our own people, but self-starters with a good work ethic and mechanical aptitude. There are few related industries to similarly prepare talent with the skills they need to apply in heat treating.”

John E. says, “We built our business by rebuilding, and that’s how we tie into HGR. My father is hands on and buys pre-owned equipment from auctions and HGR. In the early days he and his Maintenance Superintendent Roger Robbins would buy scrap steel to build stairs, mezzanines, and other necessary structures in the plant. It was not uncommon for them to buy a government auction lot, sight unseen, several states away. They would drive a tractor trailer to the site, rig out the equipment, haul it back and rebuild/install it. He is a grassroots, DIY person. We rebuild and refurbish where and when we can and will always have a shade-tree mechanic, bootstrap mentality.”

John E. shops at HGR once or twice a month and says there is something in every building on his campus from HGR. What has he bought? Mostly the “typical” items that a heat treater would use, such as pumps, breakers, panels and sometimes even furnaces.. Then, there are the items that come along maybe once in a lifetime, such as the leather hides he used to upholster a couch and the seats in his father’s Mercury. Yes, you heard that right. He told the story of the day he walked into HGR as they were unloading boxes of leather upholstery hides from Ford Motor Company. There was a huge array of colors (red, yellow, blue, silver, grey, saddle). Each box contained enough leather to upholster an entire vehicle, and was selling for $40-50 per box.

He closes the conversation by reiterating, “Because of our association with Euclid and Cleveland, we go to great lengths to buy locally and help local commerce. This is our first priority when purchasing supplies and equipment.

Euclid Heat Treating logo

HGR’s interior renovation for new offices nears completion

Begun in May 2016, HGR’s new office, conference room and kitchen construction is nearing completion. Furniture and appliances have been ordered. Turner Construction SPD is on schedule and is doing all the finish work and laying carpet. We hope to occupy the new space in September or October. Make sure to come by for a visit.

Check out the “before” photos. Speaking of “before” and “after” photos, did you see our Biggest Loser competitors? Here are the “after” office photos. We’ll post the finished product once all the furniture and appliances are installed.

HGR new executive offices
HGR’s new executive offices
HGR's new kitchen area
HGR’s new kitchen area
HGR's new kitchen
HGR’s new kitchen
HGR's new restroom with lockers and shower
HGR’s new restroom with lockers and shower
HGR's new offices
HGR’s new offices
HGR's new offices and guest waiting area with restroom
HGR’s new offices and guest waiting area with restroom

Thoughts from Justin: Meet HGR Frequent Shopper Don Bartley

HGR Customer Don Bartley

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Justin Mobilian, HGR’s sales & marketing summer intern)

We wanted to introduce you to the familiar faces who frequent HGR’s showroom. These wonderful people come from all over the world and are always stopping in to see what we have. Don Bartley, Willoughby, Ohio, comes in on Wednesdays for lunch. He was kind enough to take a few minutes for this interview.

How did you hear about us?

My friend, Larry, first introduced me to you. He told me about HGR, and one day I went with him to visit. I’ve been attracted since.

How long have you been shopping at HGR? How often do you come?

I’ve been shopping at HGR for about five to six months now. But, Larry? Ha. He’s been coming here for a long time. A looooong time. I usually come in every Wednesday, though. Can’t skip a free lunch with the opportunity to find something to take home with you.

Obviously, everyone here appreciates you and your business, but what keeps you coming back?

There’s so much. Whether it’s the atmosphere, products, free lunches. I love coming back. The cool thing about HGR is there’s literally something different every day.

What do you usually buy? For what purpose?

Well, I usually buy for myself, usually for a home project. I’ve bought a lot of cabinets and tooling from here. They usually help me complete a lot of the home projects I do. I do tons of projects around the house. I’ve accumulated a lot of junk.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

Free time? I don’t know what that is. I guess if I’m not spending my time at HGR, I’m probably working on one of my projects.

Thanks Don (and Larry) for being such valuable customers, we appreciate your business and look forward to seeing you on Wednesday!

What type of employer is HGR? Our values program a la Austin

HGR Industrial Surplus' Austin values dream team

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Cynthia Vassaur, HGR’s call center manager)

The HGR Call Center in Austin, Texas, held its annual values award ceremony on Aug. 18. All employees took some time off the phones to enjoy a delicious Texas breakfast. The biscuits and gravy, bacon, and ham weren’t the only thing receiving a gold medal that morning.

Employees were nominated by their peers for upholding the company’s values for the past year. Of the 13 winners, five received one nomination, two received two nominations, two received three nominations and “The Dream Team” pictured in the photo received four or more nominations. The outstanding performer acknowledgement goes to Larry Edwards who was nominated seven times by his colleagues, the most nominations received in the entire company. Cleveland’s values ceremony was held on Aug. 3.

Additionally, each year an employee from the Austin office is selected based upon tenure, performance and other criteria to make the trip to Euclid. Levit Hernandez will head out on Sept. 14, check out the office, have dinner with the CEO, go out on buyer inspections with Buyer Mike Paoletto and, hopefully, have time to catch an Indians game or visit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum.

You can read about HGR’s values here. What are your company’s core values?

If you’re a fan of Ace Frehley, read on.

KISS ALIVE band promo flyer

You may come into HGR to shop for your personal or company needs and get help from a friendly salesman, Tom Tiedman, by day. But, by night, he transforms into Ace Frehley! Tiedman’s the lead guitarist for ALIVE, a local KISS cover band.

He’s been playing guitar since he was 9. He took lessons for two years but says that when the teacher wouldn’t teach him the songs that he wanted to learn, he quit lessons and went on his own. He started playing in bars at the age of 15 with his band “The Ruggles,” named after the ice cream. His brother, Ron Tiedman, one of HGR’s partners, had to take him to his first gig and get him into the bar, The Captains Quarters in Willoughby. That band played Motown and old classic rock.

The KISS band came together about 1.5 years ago and has played five gigs. To do something different, they didn’t dress up in full costumes and makeup. Instead, they painted half their faces with glow-in-the-dark makeup. If you saw them under normal lighting in the bar, they looked like regular guys. Then, when they went on stage and black lights came on, they appeared to begin transforming into the characters.

To learn the material, the band got together for rehearsals twice per week in the beginning then once per week to brush up. They mainly played in east side bars through word of mouth. Currently, it is on hiatus due a band member’s illness. In the meantime, Tiedman is working to start another neighborhood band with his neighbor who will be the lead singer. He wanted to play more of a variety of musical styles.

Tiedman says his favorite guitar is a Gibson Les Paul. When asked why music is so important to him, he says, “I’ve always liked music. It’s a way I can express myself. People say, “You’re different out there.” It’s the highest of highs being on stage with a good band and you guys are rocking. There’s not drugs or alcohol needed, nothing that can beat that feeling.”

Rock on! How many of you play in bands? Show us your band photos or your favorite guitar.

Tom Tiedman of HGR Industrial Surplus playing guitar

A walk down Memory Lane: Euclid Beach Park

Euclid Beach Park Gateway Arch

When I told my mother that I was heading over to the Euclid Beach Boy’s Event Center and Museum at the former Euclid Square Mall to take a tour and interview one of the two “Euclid Beach Boys” owners, she said, “Your Aunt Annie’s company, Richmond Brothers, had its company picnic there every year. The whole family would go all day, with dancing and a beauty contest into the night. Your Grandpa and I would ride the coaster and bug and wild rides. So would Aunt Annie. So many good memories.” I am sure many of you have similar stories.

On Sept. 28, 1969, this area treasure closed for good. Are you old enough to remember Euclid Beach Park? Or maybe you heard your parents or grandparents talking about it? It started out in 1895 as Cleveland’s version of Coney Island. Five investors opened the adult amusement park. It housed a few rides, a beer garden, a bathhouse, shows, concerts and gambling. In 1901, the Humphrey family took over and turned the park into a family-friendly amusement park without alcohol or circus sideshows.

Event Center and Museum Co-owner Joe Tomaro is passionate about the park and has many stories to share with visitors, including some great stories for animal lovers about adopting rescue horses and dogs. In addition to Euclid Beach Park memorabilia, he has some items from Geauga Lake, Chippewa Lake and Sea World. The facility is 9,000 square feet and houses only a portion of his 27,000-square-feet collection. He rents out the center, which can seat up to 300 people, for reunions, birthdays, fundraisers and association meetings. Tomaro also rents out the famous Rocket Ship Car that you can see driving down the streets. If you ever see it or take a ride in it, check out the steering wheel. It’s actually the wheel from a turret lathe that Tomaro got at HGR Industrial Surplus for $25.

(a rocket ship, then and now)

Euclid Beach Park Rocket RideRocket car with lathe steering wheel from HGR












I asked him what his original connection was to Euclid Beach. He said that his uncle was a police officer there who would give the kids his ID. They would show it to the operators and ride the rides for free. He says, “It was our amusement park, and we had a personal attachment.” He explains how the Humphreys were trying to create a safe place that would get people through the rough times of WWI, WWII, The Great Depression and the Korean War. The park was free to get in and five cents per ticket to go on the rides. It was a cheap getaway where families could go dancing or picnic.

Laughing Sal paper-mache animated dollNow, the property is 1/3 apartments, 1/3 trailer park and 1/3 Cleveland Metropark. But you can still get a sense of why it was so well-loved at the museum. I got to see the creepy paper-mache animated doll Laughing Sal that stood at the entrance to the Surprise House since 1935. She looks like the mother of Chuckie. There’s a coaster car that was found in a Shaker Heights man’s backyard. The Euclid Beach Boys had the artisan band organ from the base of the rocket ship ride restored. It still plays a loud tune using paper cylinders, similar to a player piano. This item was rescued from an elderly lady’s garage and was full of mice and termites. The same lady had a huge collection of Euclid Beach Park memorabilia that the partners purchased after she passed away. She stipulated in her will that Tomaro have first dibs on the items. She knew they would remain in good hands. From her collection, you also can see the chair from the Flying Ponies Carousel.

How did Tomaro meet her? The way he meets a lot of people. While he still was running his towing business, he heard that she, who had been friends with his uncle, had Euclid Beach Park items. He walked up and knocked on her door. They became friends. She gave him his uncle’s nightstick. When the park closed, he had given it to her. She saved it all those years.

And, the best reason for visiting The Euclid Beach Boys Event Center and Museum? The original “Frozen Whip” custard. Tomaro says, “The Humphreys changed something in the recipe so that it was unique and you could only get that one-of-a-kind vanilla custard taste experience at their park.”

You can take a memorable trip back in time not only at The Euclid Beach Boys Event Center and Museum but also at the 12th-annual, free “Remembering the Sights and Sounds of Euclid Beach Park” event on Sept. 25 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Cleveland Metroparks Euclid Creek Reservation, 16301 Lake Shore Blvd., the site of the former Euclid Beach Park. This annual event is co-sponsored by The Euclid Beach Boys.

Thank you and good luck, Justin!

Comic-book-style superhero thank you

This summer, you heard regularly from our Sales & Marketing Intern Justin Mobilian in his guest blog “Thoughts from Justin.” Tomorrow is his last day before he heads back to college to wrap up his degree in December.

We wish him well in his studies and in his job search, and we thank him for the valuable contribution he made to the team. Anyone would be lucky to have this young man work for them!

Don’t be too sad, though. He was kind enough to write a couple of extra blog posts that we will be sharing after his departure. You have that to look forward to.

Justin Mobilian, HGR's summer intern

Manufacturing, in the final frontier?



(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Liz Fox, marketing associate, MAGNET: The Manufacturing Advocacy & Growth Network)

In the not-so-distant past, there were times when much of the technology we embrace today was written off as science fiction. Smartwatches, tablets, and VR headsets are now part of everyday reality. The additive manufacturing sector is constantly buzzing with new ideas, products, techniques, and machinery that help improve and enhance businesses, as well as the general quality of life.

But what happens when 3D printing is literally taken to new heights?

Just ask Made In Space, a group of entrepreneurs, scientists, and developers who helped NASA launch the first 3D printer into space earlier this year.

“Manufacturing in space has been something that has been a given in science fiction since time immemorial,” says Made In Space President Andrew Rush in a recent interview with TCT Magazine. “By having a manufacturing facility stationed in space, we can save thousands of dollars and cut the time significantly.”

Founded in 2010, the company strives to “enable humanity’s future in space” by developing new technologies designed to operate in microgravity environments. AMF, an elaborate and permanent 3D printing system used on the International Space Station, already is making a splash with projected improvements in costs and lead times.

But why is it important to have a 3D printer in space?

According to NASA, it takes more than six months and costs roughly $10,000 to send a pound of payload into orbit. Many items also have to go through lengthy and expensive certification processes, which causes substantial problems if a crew member needs a tool or replacement part; however, Made In Space produced a total of 25 parts in a 28-hour period when an earlier model of its Zero-G 3D Printer was sent to the ISS in 2014.

“We proved that if things go awry on a mission, we can fix it with 3D printing,” Rush told TCT.

Made In Space’s recent successes form only a fraction of the company’s larger goal, which is to create technology capable of building complex structures – like satellites and space stations – prior to launching them into orbit.

Back on Earth, however, we constantly are looking for opportunities to bring this innovative technology to Northeast Ohio. During the last 25 years, MAGNET Engineer Dave Pierson has worked on projects for hundreds of manufacturers, many of which have seen substantial improvements after additive manufacturing was introduced to their business plans.

“Companies need to keep up with emerging technologies if they want to succeed,” Pierson says. “There are so many great things to learn about in additive, and we will see excellent results once these ideas are implemented on a more widespread basis.”

For updates on Made In Space and its ongoing projects, follow Andrew Rush (@rushspace) on Twitter.

MAGNET: The Manufacturing Advocacy and Growth is a part of Ohio MEP, part of the NIST-MEP program. For more than 30 years, MAGNET has offered a wide range of capabilities to manufacturers, which include product and process development, workforce initiatives, and lean/operations consulting. As part of the MEP system, MAGNET strives to help small and mid-size companies by improving revenue and job retention as well as driving manufacturing and economic development in Northeast Ohio. More information can be found at manufacturingsuccess.org.

Photo courtesy of AdditiveManufacturing.com.

What type of employer is HGR? Our values program

HGR Values Dream Team

On Aug. 3, all of HGR’s partners and its Euclid, Ohio, employees gathered before the doors opened for a breakfast meeting heaped with eggs, bacon, sausage, hash browns, pancakes and praise for the 74 employees who were recognized for upholding the company’s values for the past year.

What are those values?

  • Ethical in all of our business activities
  • Support each other with openness, honesty, trust and respect while working as a team to achieve our common goals
  • Accountable in making and fulfilling our commitments to each other, our customers and our community
  • Create exceptional customer relationships by enhancing awareness and expectations of outstanding service with every interaction
  • Personal dedication to continuous improvement in creating employee and company success

Employees were nominated by their peers. Of the 74 winners, 21 received one nomination, 17 two nominations, 21 three nominations and “The Dream Team” pictured in the photo received four or more nominations. Any employee who received 3 or more nominations in the past year was entered into a drawing for a trip to one of HGR’s offices. One Cleveland employee won a trip to Austin, Texas. This year, Mike Paoletto, buyer, won the trip, but in the spirit of working as a team, he said he had been to Austin multiple times and wanted to decline the award and donate it back so that another name could be pulled. Because of his generosity, Bryan Korecz, inbound logistics manager, was selected.

Brian Krueger, CEO, opened the meeting with a brief update on the state of the company and a history of the values program. After the other partners (Paul Betori, Ron Tiedman and Rick Affrica) presented Olympic-style medals to the honorees, Krueger unveiled the company’s new diversity statement and its new values program for the coming year.

Another celebration will be held in Austin to honor those who were nominated. Stay tuned for a photo of the Austin Dream Team.

HGR employee receives night on the town valued at $300

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

Back in our April employee newsletter, we asked our employees to sign up to share HGR and industry news with their social media networks through a software social-media-sharing platform called Voicestorm. In return, the top five users each month in May, June and July each received a raffle entry to win an evening on the town worth up to $300. In addition, anyone who was in the Top 5 for all three months received an extra entry.

Our top users were: Megan Vollman, Cynthia Vassaur, Dax Taruc, Tina Dick, April Quintiliano, Steve Smith, Levit Hernandez and Angelo Runco.

The week of Aug. 8, Ed Kneitel, our trusty controller, drew a random name out of a coffee cup. Literally. And, the winner was Steve “Smitty” Smith. He won an overnight stay at Aloft Cleveland Downtown Hotel and two tickets to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Congrats, Smitty, and thanks for sharing our news with your networks!

Steve "Smitty" Smith



Thoughts from Justin: Top 3 challenges manufacturing faces, and how you can benefit from them

Running robot

If you’ve been reading my blog posts, you’re aware that I enjoy writing about science, and my experience here at HGR. Yeah, they’re interesting articles (in my opinion), but I want to address what YOU care about in my final blog as summer intern at HGR.

An article written by Scott Stone, marketing director for Cisco-Eagle, Inc., introduced to readers the challenges that the manufacturing industry faces for 2016: the manufacturing skills gap, Internet of Things, and robotics.

1) Manufacturing skills gap

With the retirement of the Baby Boomers by 2025, there are expected to be 2 million unfilled manufacturing jobs in the United States. Is that bad? Yeah, no doubt, but there’s reason to be optimistic.

As of today, there are about 80 million Millennials. These millennials bring potential to the table with regard to innovating new ways to get things done in the industry. According to a study done by two Accenture researchers, there’s a simple 4-step strategy that can be applied to the industry to develop talent:

  1. Identify talent needs
  2. Build a talent pipeline
  3. Develop talent pool relationships
  4. Reinvigorate talent development

2) Internet of Things (IoT)

The IoT revolves around machine-to-machine communication. By implementing the IoT to industrial machines, tasks and processes can be completed with ease and, ultimately, increase the efficiency of an organization.

As of today, more than 80 percent of machines already have IoT capability implemented in them; however, they’re not being used to their full extent. By formulating a strategy on why IoT is needed and the purpose for it, the opportunities for machines are endless and can serve as a major breaking point in the transformation of the manufacturing industry.

3) Automation & robotics

Robots aren’t a thing of the future anymore; they’re here, and they’re commonplace in industry. Robots work quick and smart, when programmed and applied properly, and you should be worried IF you’re not taking advantage of them.

Implementing robots in your business WILL reduce downtime and increase productivity and efficiencies. You’re probably thinking, “How can I afford a robot? They’re out of my budget.” Well, let me be the one to break the news: You can buy one for CHEAP that will quickly maximize your return-on-investment. At HGR, we have robots from several top manufacturers, including ABB, Fanuc, Kuka, Motoman and Denso.

Shifting off-topic about challenges, but another opportunity for this industry is for marketing graduates. In some circles, manufacturing has a “bad name” right now – college students aren’t attracted to it; what it needs is a fresh mindset. A way to shift from the old and into the new, a way to bring more attention to the industry. What better way to do that than to hire recent marketing graduates who want a challenging, yet rewarding, career?!

ATTN: Skilled laborers, marketing graduates, anyone interested in manufacturing

If you’re reading this, it’s not too late. In fact, it couldn’t be better timing. Yeah, the industry has some serious challenges ahead, but you have the perfect opportunity to be the change it needs.

Despite the risks and challenges the manufacturing industry faces, there’s always a silver lining, depending upon how you look at it. The skills gap, IoT, and robotics — they’re challenges, but with the right approach they can be what reinvigorates the industry. Think about it as if you were Johnny Manziel and the manufacturing industry was the Cleveland Browns. You have all this talent, and you’re bringing it to an industry that needs serious help. With the right approach, the industry can build and become what your dreams want it to be. Or, you can be like Manziel, and, yeah, no further comments.

An HGR customer’s family plays a part in Nickel Plate Station’s history

Robert Zeitz and his mother
Bob Zeitz and his mother, who will be 102 years old in October

One of my coworkers heard a customer telling one of our salespeople a story about how he was a customer when HGR first opened and how someone in his family used to work in the building prior to HGR taking over the space. She pointed him out to me. I walked over and introduced myself to get his story.

I found out Bob Zeitz was born in 1941. His father worked for Cleveland Pneumatic, the first tenant of HGR Industrial Surplus’ current building, which was built by the Defense Plant Corporation. Zeitz owned APR Tool, Willoughby, Ohio, until four years ago. Now, he’s retired, but his son owns businesses. He shops at HGR for his personal interest and for his son.

Here’s what he had to say:

My dad lived in Euclid and carpooled to Cleveland Pneumatic’s Cleveland plant until they built this facility on the vacant real estate to keep up with wartime production [of aircraft landing gear]. My dad applied for a transfer to be closer to home.

I still had a cabinet from 1946 when Cleveland Pneumatic shut down. My dad worked there. When the plant shut, he and my uncle came and bought tooling and equipment to start their own business. I just donated it to HGR. It’s the wooden cabinet on the Receiving dock with the War Production Board plaque.

When I went on a quest to find the cabinet and take a picture of it, it was missing. I panicked. This happens often at HGR – as soon as an item hits the floor, it’s sold. I checked around and was told that it was back in the scrap area. I panicked. Oh no, this part of history was going in the dumpster? I trekked back into the building on a quest, only to find it WAS in the scrap area – for storage.

One of HGR’s owners wanted to preserve this part of history. Once our new offices are built out this fall and furnished, the cabinet will be going in the new area. Whew! It may be a bit old and have taken its knocks, but it still has a useful life, just like lots of industrial surplus that comes through our showroom. Maybe it will become a coat closet for future generations at HGR.

Cleveland Pneumatic cabinetDefense Plant Corporation label on cabinet

LaSalle Theater redevelopment plans wow the audience

LaSalle Arts & Media Center groundbreaking ceremony

Picture this: an old theater built in 1927 for Vaudeville acts that existed until 2008 but did not survive the Great Recession being redeveloped in nine months into a thriving media center, music and arts space, banquet center, storefronts and apartments. Now, make a wish and watch it come true due to the hard work of Brian A. Friedman, executive director, and his crew at Northeast Shores Development Corporation.

At the Aug. 9 groundbreaking ceremony, many instrumental dignitaries were in attendance, including Cleveland City Councilman, Ward 8, Michael Polensek; City of Cleveland Director of Economic Development Tracey Nichols; City of Cleveland Director of Community Development Michael Cosgrove; Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish and Cuyahoga County Councilman, District 10, Anthony Hairston. Additionally, representatives from the project’s financial backers (Cortland Banks, IFF, Village Capital Corporation and Cleveland Foundation) spoke onstage.

According to Friedman, “The county made the initial loan to put us into a position to proceed.” Due other investors, the development company was able to raise the funds, to the tune of $4.1 million, in order to preserve this historic theater for generations to come.

It will serve as the anchor to “Made in Collinwood’s” makers corridor, similar to how the Beachland Ballroom anchors Waterloo Arts, or the Capital Theater and Cleveland Public Theater serve as anchors for Gordon Square.

The most interesting part of the event was hearing from some of the future users of the new space. Chris Winters of Taste of Excellence will offer catering services. Jason and Danielle Tilk of Wizbang Pop-Up Theater and Cabaret will offer Vaudeville-style variety shows and a possible circus school. Former Euclid Mayor and current President of Villa Angela-St. Joseph High School Bill Cervenik announced that the school will use the theater for its Drama Department and productions.

Yes, Welcome to Collinwood! It’s on the rise again. And, soon, you will be entertained.


In need of a miracle but can’t get to Lourdes, France?

The Grotto at Our Lady of Lourdes National Shrine in Euclid, Ohio

Recently, my mom was admitted to the hospital and diagnosed with a chronic condition. I have been having my own health challenges. And, my blue-collar dad who worked with machinery and equipment his entire life, a self-professed tinkerer, passed away last year. So, I was looking for a little healing and heard from a colleague at another Euclid business about a shrine in Euclid. I decided to go on my own pilgrimage around the corner from HGR’s office to 21281 Chardon Road, Euclid, Ohio.

When I showed up, people were arriving for a mass in the chapel to commemorate St. Anne’s Day, which happens to be my grandmother’s name, my mother’s middle name and my confirmation name!

The Sisters of the Most Holy Trinity run the shrine as a getaway from the “machinery” of everyday life for those looking for a spiritual retreat. The shrine is a replica of the Grotto in Lourdes, France, and has two stone chips taken from the stone on which Our Lady is said to have appeared in Lourdes with water from the Grotto flowing over the relics. You can drink from the fountain or take water with you. I bought a beautiful, inexpensive glass bottle in the gift shop to fill for my mother, and I drank from the fountain.

My trip was so interesting. I learned a lot, historically. And, you don’t have to be Catholic. There was a woman meditating with tuning forks on a bench as I walked through. Yes, you can light candles, walk the rosary hill or the Stations of the Cross in a wooded area just like in Lourdes, or go to mass, but it’s really about simplicity and getting a breath of fresh air and serenity, which almost everyone needs.

tomb at Our Lady of Lourdes National Shrine

The dateline for history buffs:

  • In 1198, John of Martha formed a community dedicated to The Trinity.
  • In 1762, Teresa Cucchiari founded the female branch of the Trinitarian tradition.
  • In 1858, the Virgin Mary is reported to have appeared to 14-year-old Bernadette 18 times in Lourdes, France, to ask her to pray for sinners.
  • In 1920, Mother Teresa Franza brought the order to the U.S.
  • In 1926, the shrine in Euclid was opened by the Good Shepherd Sisters.
  • In 1952, the Sisters of the Most Holy Trinity took over the shrine’s operation.
  • In 1956, the chapel was built with stained glass windows that tell the story of Our Lady of Lourdes.

The sisters say, “The shrine is an oasis of peace from the world.” As I walked the grounds, thrilled to see an entire area of milkweed planted for Monarch butterflies, I was reminded of my own office and how many people come to HGR daily to meditatively walk the rows of machinery and equipment looking for inspiration, laugh and chat with like-minded folks and grab a bite to eat at Wednesday’s free lunch in the customer lounge. We find an oasis where and when we can. And, sometimes, it’s the small daily blessings, including our livelihoods, the kindness of strangers or a finding a favorite place, for which we can be grateful.


LaSalle Theater to be converted into arts & media center

LaSalle Theater Euclid Ohio

It’s been long anticipated, and the time has finally come for one of Cleveland’s historic theaters to come alive once again. On Aug. 9, the LaSalle Arts & Media Center, 823 E. 185th St., Euclid, Ohio, will kick off construction with its official groundbreaking ceremony. The ceremony is by invitation only, but we’ll post another blog this week with a recap and photos. You don’t even have to leave your air conditioning to see it all!

It takes heart to create art, and Euclid has a lot of both

Euclid Art Association board meeting

While school is out for summer, the Euclid Art Association takes a break from its monthly meetings, too. But, behind the scenes the board is hard at work planning for future events. It meets every Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Euclid Art Gallery located on the second floor of the Euclid Historical Society and Museum, 21129 North St., Euclid, Ohio.

The association began in 1958 when five women, who were mostly art teachers, began meeting. The membership has grown to more than 90 members, many who come from all over Northeast Ohio. People have even come from Michigan and New Jersey to attend workshops.

I attended the June 28 board meeting then went to lunch with the group at Manhattan Deli in Willoughby. The group cares deeply about supporting one another and working together to share their artistic talents, as well as nurturing and developing the talent of others. Community starts among the membership, which is a diverse group of artists encompassing mostly two-dimensional fine art, such as photography, digital art, painting and drawing.

Some of the events the group sponsors include:

  • Two to three juried art shows per year
  • Hands-on workshops by renowned guest artists
  • Monthly meetings where a guest artist demonstrates technique
  • A membership table and demo at IngenuityFest
  • An annual scholarship to a Euclid High School art student
  • A monthly newsletter
  • A Christmas party

Last year, the group sold 11 pieces of art at its spring show and nine pieces this year. That is remarkable for a small community art show.

President Lee Peters’ story of how he joined EAA is an interesting one. His mother took art classes from Marge, one of the founding members. When his mother passed away, Marge and Rose, another founding member, came to the funeral and recruited him to join the association as a member. He later became the association’s photographer, historian and, eventually, president.

Peters says, “I can’t even draw a stick figure to save my life; so, here I am, president of a flock of artists! I am totally in awe that someone can take a pencil or paintbrush and create a landscape or portrait of a person. To me this is truly a magical talent and Euclid Art members are extremely talented magicians.”

Monthly membership meetings resume on Monday, Sept. 12 and are open to the public. Come check one out to see if it’s for you. You can find membership information at www.euclidart.com.

The Oprah Effect: Wi-Fi for all

Justin Mobilian, HGR's summer intern

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Justin Mobilian, HGR’s sales & marketing summer intern)

Gone are the days where your dreams end when you wake from your slumber thanks to the 32-year-old billionaire, entrepreneur, philanthropist and creator of Facebook. Mark Zuckerberg is one step closer to providing the Internet to the entire world’s population. 7-billion people. Yes, you read that right; it’s not a typo. Zuckerberg started his legacy in his Harvard dorm room. Now, he’s close to providing Web access across the globe.

How is Zuckerberg’s plan possible? Aquila. What? The billionaire and his team spent more than one year designing and building Aquila, a solar-powered drone. The drone was tested for the first time just a few weeks ago, with Zuckerberg making a surprise appearance. When he arrived, he said his team was very nervous, but they appeared calm and ready.

Facebook hopes that Aquila eventually will lead a fleet of identical drones with the ability to provide Internet access globally. But, how? The drones supposedly will beam signals down to cellular towers, which from there will be converted to Wi-Fi or LTE signals. The current model has a wingspan of a Boeing-737, yet only weighs about 1,000 pounds. Facebook is planning to test more flights in the next six months, but it’ll be years before you see multiple drones flying above you.

World-wide Internet access. Too good to be true? I’ll never have to worry about being Wi-Fi-less again. Unlimited Snapchats, Twitter posts, Instagram posts, the list goes on! In all seriousness though (although I was serious about that), what does this mean for the future?

As of right now, 10 percent of the world’s population lives in areas that are unable to connect to the Internet. With the advanced infrastructure provided by the drones, rural areas that are unable to connect to the Web will be able to. Aside from the next era of Facebook’s services that will come about as a result of the drones, Zuckerberg says in Casey Newton’s article Facebook Takes Flight, “For Facebook, Aquila is more than a proof of concept. It’s a linchpin of the company’s plan to bring the Internet to all 7 billion people on Earth, regardless of their income or where they live. Doing so will lift millions of people out of poverty, improving education and health globally along the way.”

Check out this video of Aquila’s first flight:

What a time to be alive. What are your thoughts on these drones? Do you think they’ll be a success? Leave a comment, let’s chat.

What do a lamp, an MRI machine, a cockpit and a tank have in common?

Airplane cockpit

Many of us have flown in an airplane or had an MRI. Little did we know that many of the parts on planes and in medical equipment are sandblasted, washed, primed, painted, coated and sealed in Euclid, Ohio, at Painting Technology, Inc., 21641 Tungsten Road. The business passed to President Mary Lou Ambrose in 1990 as part of a divorce settlement. It still is owned by her and will pass to her daughter, Vice President Denise DeGaetano.

This high-tech painting and coating company doesn’t do houses or walls; it gets contracts to do job-shop work for companies like Aero Fluid Products in Painesville and AeroControlex in South Euclid that are suppliers to manufacturers such as Boeing. The company may do an order of one part up to thousands of parts in a batch, depending on the size, process and timing requirements. Some of the parts it has painted include lamps for Kichler Lighting, ceiling grids in classrooms, parts in MRI machines and in U.S. Marine Corps tanks, the plastic air-nozzle vents above passenger seats in airplanes, bulletproof Apache and Blackhawk helicopter seats, components in tracking missiles, cockpit control-panel knobs, airplane landing gear in the Boeing 737, and the door-locking mechanism on the plane door that the flight attendant closes after you have boarded.

Painting Technology started in 1984, at which time Ambrose was half owner. The company located in Euclid to be in close proximity to Austin Hunt Corp., formerly located on Tungsten Road, which owned the other half of Painting Technology. In 1990, when Ambrose took over the company, she bought the building and kept all the paint technicians who had come to work there after her customer Picker X-Ray Corp. closed its paint shop. At the time, most of Painting Technology’s work was for the medical industry.

Now, Painting Technology has eight employees, is ISO 9100 and NADCAP certified, and works primarily in the aerospace industry. She says it costs about $20,000 per year to maintain these certifications. With a conveyorized drying rack, four paint booths and two drying ovens, the company handles the final coating process of the parts before they are installed. As Ambrose says, “It’s a process, not a paint.”

She is looking to get work from companies who make ISO and NADCAP parts. She says, “It’s a niche market. Not many in this area are certified to do this process, and we get lots of out-of-state business. Some companies do their own work, but if they don’t have their own painting facility they send it to a job shop like ours rather than to a competitor.” The company buys its coatings from companies, such as PPG or Creative Coatings.

When asked about the types of jobs for which she hires and her challenges in hiring a skilled workforce, she explains, “They used to train kids in schools’ shop classes to paint cars and handle coatings, but it’s hard to find employees now. They need a knowledge of spray guns and systems. We can’t just hire a house painter. We’ve tried to hire young people with no experience but they aren’t interested. Everyone is on computers today, but we need process people. We even went to Veteran’s Affairs looking for people with military experience. If we hire off the street, it’s a three- to five-year process to learn this job before you can be left on your own.”

Eight years ago, Painting Technology became an MBE (minority business enterprise) and WBE (women business enterprise). In early 2015, it installed a new $50,000 compressor system. Ambrose says that maintaining and upgrading equipment is integral for the company to maintain on-time delivery and quality with few rejections. She says, “This is how we have kept the same customers since 1990 and do 99.9 percent of their coating work.”

Local production designer uses industrial surplus on film sets

Image of set from Fear Clinic

Jennifer Klide has been living in Cleveland and working in the art, costuming and production departments on film sets here for the past 10 years. She says finding the right items for the film is tough in a city without a lot of film-industry resources, and she has had to beg, borrow and steal props for her set designs. She regularly uses HGR Industrial Surplus to find items she needs, especially larger pieces of equipment. She has been to competitors’ showrooms but says, “They aren’t as organized, don’t have as large of a selection, and usually carry smaller pieces-parts.” Sometimes, she has leased a piece of equipment for a shoot and says, “HGR has been super helpful to us.”

Klide explains that when a movie is being made, usually what happens is an out-of-town entity comes into the area to form an LLC and temporary production company, then it hires talent to fill positions, sometimes locally and sometimes from big cities, such as Los Angeles or New York.

She has some friends who are working on the next in the “Fast & Furious” franchise, “Fast 8,” starring Vin Diesel, started filming in Cleveland in mid-May. Recently, Klide began working on building and setting up a shed and lab for a 1970s-era film based on local artist John Backderf’s graphic novel My Friend Dahmer, which explores the serial killer’s troubled high school years. Filming will begin in Cleveland this summer.

After her films are finished being shot or reshot, she says the production company tries to resell the items at a fire sale, but often does not have the time. She does not like to junk items that have life left in them; so, sometimes, she gives them back to the company where she bought them or gives them to people or companies that can make use of them in order to keep them out of the landfill.


HGR partner appointed to board of Ashland University Gridiron Club

Victorious football player

Ron Tiedman, chief operations production officer at HGR Industrial Surplus and 1985 Ashland University graduate, was appointed in February to the board of the Gridiron Club at Ashland University. While at Ashland, Tiedman played football, baseball and lacrosse. His oldest daughter, Julia, is a 2013 Ashland grad, and his youngest daughter starts there this fall.

The club, comprised of past or present Ashland University football players, raises funds through game-day raffles, memberships and donations in support of the football program, including a $25-million stadium and new locker rooms. Board members meet on the second Tuesday of each month and work every Saturday at the football games.

According to Tiedman, “I wanted to give back because the school was good to me and helped me be who I am. Being in Ashland regularly also will allow me to help my daughter with her college experience.”


A little gem for history buffs can be found tucked away in Euclid, Ohio

Euclid Historical Society Museum Victorian kitchen

Located in the former 1894 Euclid Township High School at 21129 North Avenue, the Euclid Historical Society and Museum opened in 1984 when the historical society, founded in 1959, relocated from the Henn Mansion to its current site. It contains room after room of treasures that take you back in time to The Victorian Era and even earlier, a time when inventions were revolutionizing industry and society.

John Williams, society president since 2000, and Diane, a volunteer, led me around the place with pride. Williams is even the author of the 2003 book A History of the City of Euclid. He is a resident expert since 1951, storyteller and joke cracker. I had a smile on my face the entire time.

This is the kind of place you could go back to over and over and see something new that you missed before each time. Some of the many unique items include:

  • Jewelry and accessories (spectacles, shoes, hats, purses, pipes, etc.)
  • Household appliances (ice boxes, washing machine, butter churn, manual vacuum and sweeper, gas oven, washer wringer machine, crank and candlestick phones, spinning wheel)
  • Dishes and china
  • Military uniforms and medals
  • Toys and dolls
  • Musical instruments (organ, hammered dulcimer)
  • Photos
  • Furniture
  • Clothing
  • Technology and inventions (Charles Brush’s arc light, a dynamo, a motorman’s cab and stool from a street car, a streetlight, medical instruments, 19th-century tools, a graphotype for making dog tags and metal credit cards, light bulbs, phonograph, radio, clocks, stereoscope)
  • Book archives on Euclid, Cleveland, Ohio and The United States
  • Art
  • History and pamphlets (e.g., on John Crosier who settled Euclid Township in 1815)

For me, one of the most fascinating exhibits was Dr. Cunningham’s 1928 Steel Ball Hospital that stood seven stories and had 28 suites. It was commissioned by Henry Timken at a cost of $1 million. Its premise was using air compressors to force in high-pressure oxygen to treat and cure diabetes, emphysema and lung cancer. This was the original bariatric (hyperbaric) chamber. It was used by Cunningham until 1934 then by James Rand as a research institute then as a hospital for a year. It was sold for scrap during World War II.

So, if you need a dose of local history, a walk back in time, or even just a laugh, stop by and pay Williams a visit. You won’t regret it. The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. While you are in the area, visit the nearby Cleveland-Style Polka Hall of Fame or stop in to HGR Industrial Surplus for a tool, equipment, supply and machinery wonderland. You never know what you will find here, either.

Euclid Historical Society Museum arc light

Thoughts from Justin: Additive manufacturing, printing the future

Ultraviolet 3D printer

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Justin Mobilian, HGR’s sales & marketing summer intern)

Additive manufacturing (better known as 3D printing) has been around for years – longer than I’ve been alive – but the industry has only gained popularity in recent years. Prior to my marketing research class at The University of Akron, I had no interest in 3D printing. So, Dr. Coleman. Who is he? Full-time marketing genius. Part-time marketing professor. Part-time marketing consulting firm owner. Because of him, my interest for 3D printing grew immensely. For our term project, he gave us a real-life client from his firm who couldn’t afford his services (for privacy purposes, we’ll say his name is Bob). The project’s topic? Yep, you guessed it. 3D printing.

Our task was to determine if Bob should enter the 3D printer market and whether or not it would be lucrative for him to buy one (Although, I still question to this day why Bob was interested in purchasing a 3D printer when he couldn’t afford the firm’s services). After hours of research, hosting focus groups, distributing surveys, and analyzing results, we came to the conclusion that purchasing a 3D printer wouldn’t be a worthy investment (unless it’s a large manufacturing/engineering company that’s interested). That was two years ago; a lot can happen in two years.

Thanks to Dave Pierson, senior mechanical design engineer for Manufacturing Advocacy & Growth Network (MAGNET) and an expert on additive manufacturing, I was able to sit down with him to discuss the future of 3D printing.

So, you’ve been with MAGNET for almost 23 years. Can you tell me a little about what MAGNET does?

We offer consulting services to companies to help them achieve efficiencies through programs that focus on increasing productivity and process improvement. In turn, these efficiencies improve sales through a variety of new product development and business growth strategies – a great example being additive manufacturing.

How will 3D printing impact manufacturing companies? I know it’s used for rapid prototyping, but do you think companies will incorporate additive manufacturing to create parts used in the final product?

It’s not rapid prototyping anymore. For some companies, it’s not even prototyping. For example, Tesla and BMW already have begun printing parts that will be used in their final product. It’s evolutionary. Pretty soon, you’ll see more and more companies using additive manufacturing to print parts and pieces that will go into their finished product.

Do you see 3D printing as a technology solution or is it becoming more of a business solution?

It’s not necessarily a technology or business solution – it’s a manufacturing solution. We’ve found a way to cut costs and increase efficiencies for companies by implementing additive manufacturing. With one of our most recent successes, we helped a company implement a product that cost $0.09 to make, compared to the $44 they were originally paying.

When will we hear about the next generation of 3D printers? At CES 2017, the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, or do you think earlier?

Not too much at CES 2017. You’ll definitely see something big at AMUG’s (Additive Manufacturing Users Group) Annual Conference, which is in early April 2017. Keep an eye out for something soon. I bet several new printers will roll out within the next six months, if not sooner. HP, for example, came out with a new generation a few months ago and is already in the process of building a better one.

You mentioned in your email that additive manufacturing is “growing at a very crazy rate.” Where do you see it five years from now?

It’s hard to say what the future of 3D printers will be in five years because everything is happening so fast. I couldn’t tell you. As far as the product lifecycle, it’s sitting on the growth stage. This is just the beginning. I spoke at a conference recently, and one of the speakers said there will soon be a generation of humans that will never die because we’ll be able to print body parts – here’s a 3D-printed aorta. Who knows? Maybe that generation will be yours. We haven’t seen anything yet. It’s fascinating.

There you have it. Additive manufacturing can do it all.

3-D printed head of Dave
3-D printed Dave
Real Dave
Real Dave
3D printed aorta
3D-printed aorta

College scholarship recipient benefits from S.T.E.M. education

Tiffany Moore at HGR Industrial Surplus with $2,000 scholarship check

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Tiffany Moore, HGR Industrial Surplus’ 2016 S.T.E.M. Scholarship)

Science, technology, engineering and math (S.T.E.M.) fields interest me because I like to be challenged. The challenges we face occur mainly because we have to adapt to always-changing technology. When working in some form of S.T.E.M. career, nothing stays the same. One moment you’re building a machine by hand, and the next day a robot could be building it for you. Or, one day you could be configuring an update for the iPhone 6, and a couple of weeks later they come out with an iPhone 7. The possibilities are endless!

That is why I chose to go down the S.T.E.M. path; so, I can later work for some of the top companies or start my own. Also, I would like to make a significant increase in the number of women working in technology. My goal is to raise awareness, through media, about how important it is for women to be involved in the field of computer technology.

In this decade, technology plays a huge role in our everyday lives, and it is essential that we have a solid understanding of how it all works; however, I will need to first further my education by going to college. I am so thankful HGR chose me as its 2016 scholarship recipient. I will be putting the money toward the tuition of the college I’ll be attending in the fall — Ohio Wesleyan.

Thus far, I completed two years of Cisco Academy with Euclid High School. Through this program, I was able to obtain my Microsoft certification. Also, I had an opportunity to visit a Cisco facility and talk to girls about pursuing a S.T.E.M. career path. During the summer, I was fortunate to be a part of an organization called IndeedWeCode. This was a program specifically for African-American females interested in IT. Through this program, I learned how to code and later was able to build an official website for IndeedWeCode. This experience inspired me to encourage more women to get familiar with all aspects of S.T.E.M.

I’ve also had a chance to visit HGR and eat lunch with some of the employees. It was a great feeling seeing that women were very involved with the company. For example, they had their own work stations and specific tasks that were vital to how the company worked. I was inspired to continue my passion for S.T.E.M. and thankful for all the possibilities and opportunities it has shown me over the past two years.


New featured product videos added weekly to HGR’s video library

Video reel

Sometimes, words and photos don’t tell the whole story. And, there are lots of stories to tell at HGR.

The HGR Video Library provides a closer look at the products, processes and people that have made HGR the leading destination for used industrial equipment, manufacturing machinery, surplus and MRO items.

Every week, we add new product videos that give you a closeup look at some of the items we have for sale.



HGR’s CMO volunteers to redesign Euclid COC website

Euclid Chamber of Commerce website

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Matt Williams, HGR’s CMO and Euclid Chamber of Commerce board member)

Last fall, I was approached by the Euclid Chamber of Commerce and asked if I would be willing to serve on the chamber’s board of directors. I had previously had the pleasure of interacting with several members of the chamber’s board in the lead-up to the dedication of Nickel Plate Station, the industrial park owned by the ownership group of HGR Industrial Surplus and the home of HGR’s business for the past 18 years. I was honored to be asked to serve on the board, and I readily agreed.

As chief marketing officer at HGR, we have just recently completed a redesign of our website using the WordPress content management system platform. Word got out about my Web development background, and I offered to redevelop the chamber’s website at www.euclidchamber.com. One of the key considerations in deciding to use WordPress was the platform’s massive user platform and the fact that it is so highly extensible, meaning that there are thousands of readily available plugins and extensions for nearly every conceivable purpose to enhance the functionality of the site. It also is accessible to non-programmers, which was attractive to Sheila Gibbons, the chamber’s very capable executive director.

Several features of the new website include the integration of a member management plugin, an event calendar, the ability to accept online payment for chamber events, and an online blog. The chamber is optimistic that a more professional online presence will signal to prospective new members that the Euclid Chamber is active in the community and working hard in pursuit of the interests of local businesses. A strong chamber of commerce is critical to business growth and success in the community, and the strength of the chamber depends upon a robust and active membership.

HGR is proud to be a member of the Euclid Chamber of Commerce, and I am honored to serve on the chamber’s board of directors. I am optimistic that this new website will help lead to an expansion of our membership as we work hard to support Euclid’s business community.


Former NFL star scores on and off the field

Coach Mac Stephens on the field with his players

Mac Stephens. If you meet him, you will never forget him. At 6’3”, he’s a big guy. Yep, he looks like a football player. And, he is. But, what really strikes you is his serenity, gentleness and kindness. He’s motivational and inspirational. And, he loves kids. This man works around the clock in the service of athletes and non-athletes in his THREE jobs as director of recreation for The City of Euclid, head football coach for Cleveland Heights High School, and business owner of Mac’s Speed, Power and Fitness.

When asked how his love of sports began, he replies, “I had a brother seven years older, and I always tagged along. He threw me in there with the older kids, and I’d take my bumps and bruises. My mom was the one who required me to play organized sports, but dad wanted me to go to school. I was hyperactive, probably ADD or ADHD and on medication. I got into sports to burn some energy. In sports, I could easily see myself progress, while in school I was made fun of because I was tall, awkward and stuttered badly. One day, my mom came home to find me on the roof of our Colonial house throwing rocks at cars. Sports helped me to redirect my energy.” And, “redirect” he did! He excelled at basketball, football, track and boxing.

Stephens played professional football for three years with the Toronto Argonauts, New York Jets and Minnesota Vikings until he broke his fifth vertebrae. After recovering, he was offered a contract by the Detroit Lions but made the heart-rending decision to retire from pro ball to avoid breaking his back again. Since then, he has had 25 operations due to his years of playing football.

He took some time away from football before getting into coaching in order to get perspective and learn that everyone has different motives for playing, from being driven to play for the NFL to reasons that include playing because it’s what their friends doing to playing to enhance their popularity. Although playing football is a small portion of who he is, it gives him a platform through which to speak to youth about being a business owner; working for the government, nonprofits and large corporations; and volunteering, mentoring and giving back to the community.

Eventually, he made his way to the public sector. In 1999, he ran for city council but lost. Former Mayor Bill Cervenik encouraged him to stay involved. He joined the recreation advisory board for tackle football and coached soccer and football as a volunteer for three or four years. Then, Cervenik called him regarding some recreation department openings. Now, 13 years later, in his capacity as director of recreation, Stephens oversees 35 recreation programs, senior programs and the golf course.

At Mac’s Gym, started 5-6 years ago in the former Euclid Sports Plant, he originally offered specialized training for young athletes who wanted to be bigger, stronger and faster. Assistant Coach Germaine Smith became a partner, and they began to train the moms and dads of the athletes, which morphed the business into its current capacity as a full-service gym that offers personal training to all ages.

Kids continue to train at the gym from schools all over Northeast Ohio up to three times per week. And, although they come for speed and strength training and to work out, they end up talking about life lessons, such as respecting women, having goals, achieving in and out of sports, and considering career options.

He picks up the torch from a line of coaches who helped him. He says, “I can name every coach I ever had because they impacted me that much. I feel obligated to do what I do because had I not had similar coaches, I’m afraid to think of where I’d be. Utilized the right way, sports can change or impact any kid.” But, he says that there are kids who work out with him who have no athletic aspirations. Beyond athletics, he teaches kids to build self-confidence. He overcame his own stuttering challenge when he became more confident and has seen the same results in others who he has mentored. His goal is not to make a profit but to use athletic training as a tool to impact kids in other areas of their lives, such as making them job ready or helping them communicate better.

Stephens says, “I tell my kids, follow the blueprint and things will happen for you, whether that is getting into college or finding a decent job. Socially, do the right thing. Academically, do the best that you can. In sports, allow yourself to be coached.” This is advice that all of us can take to heart and apply in our lives. Thanks, Coach!

Graffiti: Art or vandalism?


  The ongoing debate continues as to whether graffiti is art or vandalism, but either way, anyone who works in a manufacturing environment probably has seen the brightly colored spray paint on the walls of the buildings where you work.

Whether a form of expression, a political statement or an indicator of gang-related activity, people have been scribbling and scratching on the walls for centuries, including Stone Age cave paintings and Egyptian temple hieroglyphics.

We at HGR wanted to share some of the graffiti on the walls in its showroom at Nickel Plate Station where there used to be a paintball tenant. The owners were artists. They and their friends covered the walls in the offices and basement paintball arena with graffiti.

HGR currently is renovating this area and plans to preserve most or all of the original graffiti as part of the building’s history.

Show us your graffiti! What adorns the walls of your facility? What are your thoughts about graffiti as art or vandalism?

Graffiti 1 Graffiti 2 Graffiti 3 Graffiti 4 Graffiti 5 Graffiti 6 The tunnel

Graffiti at HGR Industrial Surplus

Graffiti in HGR Industrial Surplus

Graffiti in HGR Industrial Surplus

Thoughts from Justin: Reflecting on my first week with HGR

HGR summer intern photocopying head

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Justin Mobilian, HGR’s sales & marketing summer intern)

So, it’s June 27, and I have the first week of my internship under my belt. I was nervous coming in to a new organization. I had no idea who anybody was, did not know what my responsibilities were going to include, and I had a million other thoughts running through my head; however, the first week of my internship literally could not have gone any better.

My first day at HGR was spent with my team – getting to know one another and how each role plays into the marketing team. Each member was friendly and made me feel like I was already a part of the team (I felt like a huge rock was lifted from my back). Once noon hit, Matt took me to Harry Buffalo for lunch (my first time there and definitely not my last). I got back to the office and familiarized myself with marketing strategies, SEO and email marketing. Not bad for a first day.

I thought my first day went really well. Little did I know my second day would be even better; I was going to the Cleveland Cavaliers championship parade! I was excited for this for two reasons:

  1. I missed Game 7 of the NBA Finals due to E.coli and sleeping through the game. This once-in-a-lifetime chance (because, let’s be honest, it’s Cleveland) was missed completely because I was sleeping. I was supposed to meet up with friends in Cleveland at 4 p.m. I woke from my “nap” at 8 a.m. the next day with 32 missed calls and texts, and a “Cleveland Cavaliers are World Champs!” headline on CNN. GREAT.
  2. My friends, family members, and strangers called off work to go to this parade. I, however got to attend the parade FOR WORK.

I may have missed the game, but at least I get to celebrate in the land with my team. Not only do I get to celebrate it, but I get to celebrate it while working. Incredible.

My third day at HGR I met with each team throughout the organization and got to talk about what each person does. This was really helpful, as I was easily able to understand how each team helps one another complete business objectives. After lunch (Matt took me out AGAIN; now I’m certain I picked the right company to work for), I wrote an interview-like blog about myself and edited product videos for our graphic designer/videographer/photographer.

My fourth day, and last day of my first week, I began the day by meeting with the inventory team and working with them for a few hours – great group of guys who I enjoyed talking with (Tristan likes Kanye West and Jay Z; so, we became immediate friends). After lunch I completed research for the marketing communications specialist two blog interviews taking place the following week.

To top everything off, before heading home I received two FREE tickets to Cedar Point WITH parking AND food. This company is awesome! I’ve only been here for a week, but they’re treating me just like one of their permanent employees instead of an intern – I love it! It must’ve been too good to be true because I couldn’t go to Cedar Point due to trip to the ER on Saturday night with another health scare from the past weekend. First, I missed the Cavs championship game and now I missed a day at the best amusement park in the world with HGR. Did I make someone mad in a previous life?? Possibly.

Overall, my first week here has been awesome. The team is great and I’m excited for what this experience holds for me.

Get to know HGR: Our Call Center

HGR Industrial Surplus’ Call Center makes more than 1,500 calls to per day to find equipment and supplies for our buyers to bid. That’s how we get all the great stuff in our showroom and on our website. Check out this short video to learn more and meet some of our Call Center folks who make it all happen.

Search and rescue team found a training ground at HGR

Search & rescue team training exercise at HGR Industrial Surplus

Ohio Region 2 Collapse Search and Rescue at HGR(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Justin Mobilian, HGR sales & marketing summer intern)

If you didn’t know, Ohio has a regional search and rescue team. This team of elite responders are the ones who we call as our last line of defense in times of a disaster. Curious about what they do, I wandered over to ask a few questions while they used one of HGR’s empty buildings as a training facility.

The Ohio Region 2 Search and Rescue Team is the product of a rescue program that was started in 1990 to train responders on rescue procedures in the event of a building collapse or emergency situation that is beyond the ability of a local fire department or rescue team. The regional team was created as a result of 9/11 to increase the nation’s preparedness for disasters, both natural and man-made, and serves Ashtabula, Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake and Lorain Counties. The disciplines taught to its members include rope rescue, confined space rescue, search and locate, vehicle and machinery rescue, structural collapse rescue, and trench rescue. They do it all.

So, what was this team doing at HGR? Training. Lots of training. With the exception of a lunch break, Ohio Region 2 Collapse Search and Rescue team trained 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on building stabilization, collapse, breaching, breaking, lifting debris and moving heavy equipment. Sound like a challenge you might be interested in? All you need are a few hundred hours of training, followed by another thousand or so hours (I get tired from walking from my desk to the car; so, count me out).

When asked what he wants his team to walk away with once training is over, Team Leader Brian Harting says, “I never focus on how we do our job, but on why. There’s two things: One, it’s all about math and physics. Once you understand that, you’ll be successful. It’s very important. Second, we care about the lives of others.” We thank them for their bravery and service.

Ohio Region 2 Collapse Search & Rescue Team

HGR buys industrial surplus from manufacturers to free resources and space

Lot of equipment to bid in a plant
(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Adam DeAnseris, regional buyer, HGR Industrial Surplus)

I started in a territory where there was only one buyer for 18 years and have been the New England buyer for three years now. The market was saturated due to the prior buyer’s hard work; so, I picked up where he left off and started to create my own relationships, too. We have had only two buyers serving the same customers who have been loyal for 18 years. When they call me, I almost know for sure we will buy their surplus.

People want to buy from or sell to people they like. It’s a reciprocal relationship. I make sure to describe the process to them, schedule a meeting, take a few pictures, and get an offer back quickly. Our competitive advantage is that we can be a big resource to small, medium and large companies. We get everything out in one fell swoop and don’t pick and choose what to buy!
I work with facilities managers and operations managers. They know that we do what we say, while many companies don’t. For example, the call center cold called a potential customer that had equipment to sell. I went to bid on a lot and saw some other stuff that I wanted to make an offer on. The manager said another company was under contract to buy it, but it was supposed to be moved the prior week.

I purchased the equipment that I came to see (half a semi load) and left the other lot for the surplus buyer who was under contract. About four months later, our call center followed up with the customer to see if it had additional surplus for sale. That original lot was still sitting in their plant. They tore up the bid contract with that buyer for failing to follow through on the contract due to lack of financial resources, and we took it (a packed semi load). We picked it up on time and payed immediately. The equipment was already loaded into a trailer but the prior buyer did not have the assets to pay for it. We have 12 buyers in the country who can buy as much surplus as they want and average $55,000 per month per person. That’s $660,000 per month or almost $8 million per year.

It’s all about customer service. We sell a service, because the manufacturer can sell equipment to anyone. But they get burned by people who don’t do what they say they’re going to do. They’ve invested in new equipment and need the old to go because the new is coming in. It costs time and money if what they sold is not out of there on time. With our customer service and financial backing, we pick up within 24 hours or less in order to meet our customers’ needs.

Semi load of equipment being hauled away after contract

Meet Justin, HGR’s summer sales & marketing intern

Justin the intern

You’ll be hearing from Guest Blogger Justin Mobilian twice per month this summer in his Thoughts from Justin blog post; so, we thought we would give you a chance to get to know him better here. He joined HGR on June 21 and will be here until the end of August when he leaves for college. Make sure to look for his fresh insights and stop in to say hello. This photo was taken during his first big assignment for HGR on his second day on the job – covering the Cav’s championship parade!

How did you hear about HGR?

I actually never heard of HGR prior to this past May. I was searching for summer internships, and I saw a listing for a marketing and sales opportunity with HGR. Since I was not familiar with the company, I was curious as to who they were; so, I researched them to find out more.

Why did you apply to HGR Industrial Surplus for an interview?

I applied for a few reasons. For one, the list of responsibilities and tasks seemed like a good challenge for me and would be rewarding for my skills in the field. When I researched HGR after reading the posting for the internship, I watched a few videos on employee feedback; each employee seemed genuinely happy to be working here and had nothing but positive things to say. When looking for a job, the environment and atmosphere of the office is very important to me. HGR stood out as being a really friendly company, and I knew it was a good fit.

Last, I applied for this position because HGR’s vision and values really caught my attention. That probably sounds cliché, I know, but I mean it. After reading its blog and seeing its presence in the community, to watching videos online, it was easy to tell that HGR really stands true to its visions and believes in growth and development for all of its employees.

Where are you attending school, when will you graduate, and what is your major?

Funny story about where I attend school. Freshman year I attended The University of Akron. Fall semester of sophomore year I transferred to Kent State University because I didn’t like the food at Akron (yes, I’m serious and yes, my parents were not happy with my decision). I quickly transferred back to Akron the next semester after not liking Kent’s campus (yes, I’m serious and yes, my parents rolled their eyes and were not happy about my decision).

I’ve been with The University of Akron since, and I love it (I just stay away from the dining halls). I am expected to graduate with my bachelors of business administration with a focus in marketing management in December 2016.

Tell us about your interest in marketing.

I actually never thought I’d be focusing on a career in marketing. I began my first two years of college as a nursing major (yes, I wanted to be a “murse”); however, I wasn’t content with where I was at and didn’t think nursing held as much potential as business did. My friend told me to come to one of his marketing classes “just because.” I ended up going to one class. Then another. And another. Next thing I know I’m a marketing major. Fast forward a year and a half and I landed a marketing co-op opportunity with ABB for two semesters, and now I’m with HGR for another marketing internship. Funny how things work out.

What are your career goals?

Realistically speaking, I want to focus on marketing communications for whichever company I work for. I believe this area of marketing allows me to express my creativity the most, all while helping achieve business objectives. Fast forward a few years (probably several) and I hope to become director of marketing. And, if I can show continued success in my work and operations, become chief marketing officer.

What are your hobbies and interests? What matters to you?

Having an internship is a win-win situation for me; it allows me to build my skills and knowledge in marketing, but it also allows me to afford my hobbies! These include hanging and traveling with friends. My most recent trip to Costa Rica ended in a trip to the ER with an end result of E.coli – I think I’ll hold off from international travels. When I’m not traveling, I enjoy going to music festivals, golfing, and skiing. And eating Chipotle. I’m a Chipotle addict; so, if you want to go to lunch sometime just shoot me an email!

What matters to me? Aside from my education and career goals, I care deeply about my family and friends. Without the continued help and support (especially when transferring universities – sorry mom and dad), I wouldn’t be where I’m at. I’m very thankful because of that and am lucky to have all these great people behind me.

HGR closed Saturday and Monday for 4th of July holiday

July 4 fireworks

We will be closed on Monday, July 4, in observance of Independence Day.

And, in case you missed the blog post last month, as of July, HGR only will be open on weekends for one Saturday per month on the second Saturday of each month. The dates for the rest of the year are:

  • July 9
  • August 13
  • September 10
  • October 8
  • November 12
  • December 10

So, we are not open this month on Saturday, July 2, 16, 23 or 30.

Halfway there: HGR’s interior construction project continues

On our June 6 blog, we ran some “before” photos of the interior construction underway at HGR for new offices, conference rooms, kitchen and restrooms. In less than one month, look at the progress Turner Construction, Special Projects Division has made.

According to Josh Stein, Turner’s project manager, they are on target to finish 99 percent of the work by the end of July. They will need to leave one bay door open to fit air handling unit through that currently is on order to be delivered in August. In mid-August, they will install the air handler and frame in the door for use as a people door for access to the offices. At that time, the construction will be complete, and HGR will be able to put in office furniture and appliances for a September relocation of its executives and administrative staff. Sales and marketing will remain in the front offices to greet customers.

HGR administrative offices and visitor entrance
Administrative offices and visitor entrance
HGR leadership and supervisor offices
Leadership and supervisor offices
HGR kitchen and restrooms
Kitchen and restrooms

HGR announces new national automotive tenant

DriveTime website

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Brian Krueger, CEO, HGR Industrial Surplus)

Nope, HGR Industrial Surplus is not getting into the used car business, but DriveTime, a new national automotive tenant, will be joining HGR Industrial Surplus and NEO Sports Complex at Nickel Plate Station, 20001 Euclid Avenue, Euclid, Ohio, in September.

The company is based out of Arizona and sells used cars. It currently has 139 dealerships throughout the country and is planning to open 10 more by the end of the year. Its geographic region started in the west and is expanding to the East Coast.  It employees more than 1,000 people. The company’s largest competitor in the area is CarMax.

The facility in Euclid will be used as an inspection and distribution center. DriveTime will buy used cars and ship them into Euclid for service and detailing. From there, they will be sent to one of its retail locations for sale.  The inspection center will have more than 20 car lifts, mechanics area, spray booths, wash stations, and other car service features.  The center will be its largest in the country, eventually feeding at least 11 retail locations.  The retail locations will stretch from Detroit to Erie, Pennsylvania.

The inspection center will process approximately 56 vehicles per day.  It will utilize the large parking lot for unfinished and finished cars. The center will employee between 85 to 100 people.  The company will be conducting a fit out for new offices and bathrooms within the facility and will be investing more than $2 million into its operation.

Photographer conducts photo shoot in HGR’s showroom

Safety glasses photo shoot at HGR Industrial Surplus

Rob Marrott, a photographer and owner of RPM Images, contacted me to see about using HGR’s showroom in a photo shoot for safety products manufacturer Brass Knuckle.

He said they wanted to simulate a manufacturing facility and show models working around industrial equipment. This was a pretty cool opportunity for both Marrott and HGR. He has been here before conducting shoots for other industrial clients. So, on June 15, Marrott and his assistant, two reps from Brass Knuckle’s advertising agency and four models came in to shoot some photos.

Not only do our customers need used industrial surplus to keep their businesses running, but other types of businesses in the community, such as schools, bloggers and photographers, value what we do and can make use of our showroom.

RPM photo shoot of woman wearing safety glasses at HGR Industrial Surplus

Call for industrial and manufacturing poets: We know you’re out there!

Man and two youths
(photo by Eric Boyd at www.Eric-Boyd.com and provided courtesy of Belt Magazine)

In the heart of the Collinwood neighborhood in Cleveland, Ohio, I was sitting on a sofa in Twelve Literary and Performance Arts Incubator chatting with Poet Daniel Gray-Kontar about manufacturing and poetry. In our conversation, I brought up the poetic words of Erin O’Brien, editor of Fresh Water Cleveland, from her blog post “Tears and steel:”

I mourned for the Bridgeport milling machines as they carved a jagged skyline over this splendorous field of iron and steel. I mourned for the lathes waiting by patiently. I mourned for the stoic presses, so many silent soldiers. Clients browsing grinders and cutters eyed me curiously, then looked away when I set my camera upon the bed of a 20,000-pound press brake, removed my glasses and wiped my eyes with my sleeve. I mourned for all of it, but mostly I mourned for the men who wore heavy boots and carried their midday supper in a brown paper sack. They drank Carling’s Black Label at Joe’s Bar after a day spent machining things to a thousandth or better.

Daniel and I were brainstorming the idea of hosting a poetry event at his venue that showcases Cleveland’s history, old and new. In his words, “Cleveland history is all but gone. There’s the old Cleveland and the new Cleveland. There’s a new zeitgeist. Let’s launch the conversation between the post-industrial poets and the post-modern poets.”

The next challenge: How to find the post-industrial blue-collar workers who may not even identify as poets? There are a number of local poets who are known on the scene and who write about manufacturing and industry in The Rust Belt, including Larry Smith, Ray McNiece, Michael Salinger, Dave Snodgrass, Milenko Budimir, Mark Kuhar and Maj Ragain.

But, I mentioned that years ago I had seen some steel-mill poets read out at The James Wright Poetry Festival at The Martin’s Ferry Public Library on the border of Ohio and West Virginia. These weren’t well-known, published poets. These were salt-of-the-earth guys who worked in the steel mills, or used to work in the defunct steel mills. They wrote poems of grit and grime, hard work, family, loyalty, their roots, their teams, and the women who took care of them.

That’s in stark contrast to Generations Y and Z who are self-inventors, open to possibility, constantly reinventing themselves, technologically driven and have a compulsion for change and agility, and often are accused of an attitude of self-entitlement.

We talked about how to start a poetic conversation in Cleveland between these groups and about what unifies both post-industrial and post-modern writers, where they intersect and cross-pollinate, what their commonalities are. These are different people facing the same challenges with similar goals.

Daniel mentioned a great musical illustration: hip hop. According to him, “It’s the music of recycled sounds.” You take music that’s already there and repurpose it to find a unifying sound. What unifies these poets? Their voices. The importance of what they do. Their part in Cleveland’s history. The issue of uncertainty.

Then, a light bulb went off. What is Collinwood? What is the Waterloo Arts District? An old, residential area that housed factory workers and is in the process of reinventing itself as a modern arts district full of makers.

We’re looking for the machinists, welders, engineers and technicians who go to work every day then come home to write about it. We know you’re out there. If you’re interested in being part of a poetry event in Euclid where we have an intimate poetry reading then a panel discussion, give a shout out. If you aren’t able to make it, are shy or not in the area, feel free to share your poem here. Keep it clean, since this is a company blog!

Saturday hours changing starting in July

clock with flowers for summer hours

Starting in July, HGR Industrial Surplus will be open only one Saturday per month instead of on every Saturday  as in the past to give employees more time to spend with their families.  Store hours will be 7:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. on the 2nd Saturday of each month.

We still will be open Saturday, June  25. Our only open Saturday in July will be July 9; so, mark your calendar!


Tech, robotic and electronics guru shares about the transfer of ideas


Church with Althar Audio sound system

From chatting with him a few times, it is clear that Dennis Althar, president and CEO of Althar Audio (www.altharaudio.com), is one part Renaissance Man, one part self-professed Maker, one part technology fiend with a dash of philosopher thrown in. He is a people person and storyteller extraordinaire with a variety of interests and passions that revolve around technology and electronics.

You have been involved with FIRST Robotics for 13 years. Tell us about your work with them.

I had a friend who was a mentor to one of the schools involved. I found out that they needed someone to inspect the robots to make sure they met specifications. As an inspector, you need experience in electronics or technology. Then, in the last two years, I have worked as a judge. It’s not as technical because you are judging professionalism, interaction, how the team helps other teams, community involvement, the team’s Web page, the safety of its booth, documentation, and its video presentation.

It costs about $25,000 to do a robot. The students have to find mentors and sponsors. Each robot is built from the same basic kit and software but the students write their own code; so, there is opportunity for innovation in the traction system and performance of the robot, and the uniqueness of the idea.

“For inspiration and recognition of science and technology” is what FIRST stands for. Our country graduates about 70,000 engineers per year as compared with 350,000 in India and 600,000 in China (Cse.msu.edu). We need to close that gap.

What is your opinion of STEM versus STEAM programs? 

Art is integral to design. Some things may work and do the same job but the artistry is important and what distinguishes one product from another. For example, there is a difference between one website and another. How does it look and interact with the user? Some design elements to think about that could use improvement:

  • Elevators have the button on the wrong side. Now, there are kiosks with smart technology so that you push the floor button before you get on the elevator. The technology brings the correct elevator that is going up and to that floor.
  • If you turn on the windshield wipers, your car’s headlights should go on.
  • If you only have one printer, it should print immediately when you click “print” instead of having you click to print on the right printer.
  • When you put a CD in the CD player, it should start playing without having to hit “play.”
  • Why are the controls for a shower under the spray head where you need to reach through the freezing or scalding water instead of on the other wall or the side of the shower?

User experience is the art part.

What other student-mentoring opportunities are you involved with? 

I speak at Cuyahoga Community College, Case Western Reserve University and Youth for Christ about careers and electronics since I’ve been doing technology since Apple II’s in the late 70s and electronics since I was five.

Tell us about when your love for technology started.

At age 5, I read books on electronics and science fiction at the library to get away from my home life. I started repairing stereos at about age 6 but never just repaired them; I modified them and improved them. The tubes took time to warm up; so, I would put a solid-state diode across the power switch to make them instant on.

Record players used to have 30 watts with one channel driven and only 20 with both driven. I would take the cartridge and flip one channel’s wires so that one was positive and one negative to change the polarity then flip the wires on one speaker. That way, I was able to get 30 watts per channel with both channels driven rather than 20 basically increasing the power by flipping two wires on each end, one pushing and both pulling back. Technology is about understanding what things do.

Then, I drove a car as a teenager with a knocking rod. This usually blows up within an hour. I pulled the spark plug wire so it wasn’t firing, took off the valve cover, removed the push rods from the intake valves and took the spark plug out so it didn’t suck fuel. The car ran on seven cylinders instead of eight and missed a little on the freeway but I drove it like this for months. I had a broken tie rod end and drove the car backward to get home to get it off the road. You can’t push it forward. Again, it’s knowing how things operate. Going back to the previous question, that’s what STEAM and STEM are: understanding the basic principles of how things work. To design, a person has to have a basic understanding of servicing things and the ability to look at the product as a complete system during its whole lifetime. They have to be able to service it, whether a robot or a TV, to see how things integrate.

How did you get involved in your current line of work, and what did you do in the past? 

I left home when I was 14. A high school guidance counselor turned me onto Upward Bound where I went to college in the summer to be away from my bad home conditions. II was paid a $7 per week stipend and got to live in the dorms in the summertime. I just kept on going from there. I stayed with friends the rest of the time and was emancipated when I was 17. I slept in cars and anywhere I could, and I finished high school.

I also was in a foster home at 8 for about a year. There, I saw a different kind of life and could see possibilities. I was told I would never amount to anything or drive a nice car. I have owned Jaguars, Porsches and a limo. What doesn’t kill you motivates you; it gave me a heart for mentoring and foster programs. Although I knew electronics, I joined the Air Force so others would believe it, and I went through 2.5 years of training in eight weeks.

Out of the Air Force, I got involved with medical equipment and large-system computer equipment repair. Then I started my own business doing graphics systems for Bobbie Brooks; laser equipment for Richmond Brothers; research equipment for General Tire, BFGoodrich and all the rubber companies; and medical electronics repair and sales, Including the first ultrasound machines and heart stress testing. We then went into manufacturing.

I beefed up VCRs to work in cardiac cath labs to take in non-standard video and play it back on the monitors. After working with that ultrasound technology for years, I used it to apply to sound systems.

Tell us how that came about. How are they being used and where? 

I had a separate business selling high-end home theater and laser discs in the 1990s.  After 911, I let the medical stuff go as it went to big network PAC systems moving away from film. I went full time into sound system technology based upon medical technology. I basically retired after 911 and hung out and did fun stuff until three to four years ago.

But I would still repair the things I built and support my customer base. I never want satisfied customers. Satisfied customers go to McDonalds, pay the buck, get a hamburger and are satisfied. They also would buy from Burger King. Loyal customers go to Rally’s, not anywhere else, because they are excited and are evangelists.

Our current markets are churches, gyms, warehouses, factories, football fields and auditoriums. The systems are being used by St. Edwards, Central Catholic, Independence High School, Notre Dame, Gilmour Academy, Beachwood, Warrensville, Ursuline, St. Thomas Aquinas, Western Reserve Academy, Toledo, Riverside High School, Lear Romec Crane, AkzoNobel, Musicians Alex Bevan and Dan Bode, and on mobile billboards as the trucks drive around sporting and political events.

Communications are about getting what’s from my mind to your mind with as little destruction as possible, which you know well if you are married. You need a universal translator from Star Trek so that what goes out of someone’s mouth and into the other person’s ears is in synch. Our mission is to make intelligibility in communications, whether visual or aural. Your brain tries to make things fit to its experience. You can seldom have lossless transfer of ideas.

As an HGR customer, how did you hear about HGR? What do you come here to purchase and why? 

For the deals and because it’s a one-stop shop. If you’re building a maker’s space like Dan Moore at Team Wendy and need a drill press, lathe, vacuum, etc., you can get it all in one place, save money, and keep items from going to landfills and scrapyards. HGR is full of more than just metal; they’ve made it so people can compete who couldn’t afford to buy a $200,000 spray booth. Companies may go out of business but something is still left in the ashes.

I was a customer of HGR’s founder’s prior company. I did work with Reliance Electric. One of its locations was across from that company, and I saw sign about surplus, which is my middle name. This was before the Web, and I wouldn’t have known it existed. It was serendipity, then I found out about HGR from word of mouth. We have bought electronics, lighting, lockers, carts, power supplies boxes, containers, a wire stripper, test equipment for our engineering lab, and material handling equipment. The place is full of too many cool things. For instance, I bought three skids of hardcover foam-lined cases made for ultrasound probes and found a use for them. I bought an ultrasound machine and donated it to The Cleveland Pregnancy Center. Sometimes, I buy an item because it looks cool then find a use for it later on. I seldom buy things that don’t work but if they don’t you can return them. What you guys get is eclectic; it’s like you say, you do sell everything.

National Science Foundation encourages STEM education and careers

STEM infographic
Courtesy of edutopia.org

In the United States, education reform has been underway since the 1990s to prepare our youth to be more globally competitive in their careers by integrating science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subject areas in the curriculum. It was felt that the U.S. has fallen behind its global counterparts in the classroom and that fewer students had been focusing on careers in these fields. As a result, the National Science Foundation coined the STEM acronym and began encouraging an implementation program in the schools, and in 2009 President Obama’s administration announced the “Educate to Innovate” campaign to inspire students to excel in STEM subjects and teachers to educate in these subjects in order to move American students from the middle of the pack to the top of the international arena. (1)

There also is an effort to attract women and minorities to STEM careers. This website has audio files of women who work in President Obama’s administration talking about their personal female heroes from STEM fields in order to encourage young women to pursue a career in the sciences.


(1) Horn, Elaine. “What is STEM education?” Livescience.com. Web. 19 April, 2016.

Historical marker erected to dedicate landmark zoning case

Historical marker ribbon cutting

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Allison Lukacsy, community projects manager, City of Euclid)

On a gorgeous late spring afternoon on June 9, 2016, the City of Euclid and the Euclid Landmarks Commission dedicated an Ohio Historical Marker at the Euclid Police Mini-Station on HGR Industrial Surplus’ property at 20001 Euclid Avenue, Euclid, Ohio, to formally recognize the site at the center of the U.S. Supreme Court case The Village of Euclid vs. Ambler Realty Co. (1926).  

Euclid v Ambler Realty is known nationally for establishing the constitutionality of zoning and land-use regulations throughout the country. The subject property consisted of roughly 68 acres of land located between Euclid Avenue and the Nickel Plate Rail Line. The site ultimately was developed for industrial purposes during World War II.

Today, the historic property is owned by HGR Industrial Surplus, which operates an industrial supply showroom and distribution center at the site. The Cuyahoga County Land Bank helped facilitate HGR’s purchase of the property through foreclosure, and now the site has a bright future, with HGR investing millions and attracting major new tenants. The site also is home to the NEO Sports Plant and the Euclid Police Mini-Station.

The dedication featured a keynote address by Paul Oyaski, former mayor of the City of Euclid, and remarks by Ohio House District 8 Representative Kent Smith and Ohio Senate District 25 Senator Kenny Yuko. In his address, Oyaski painted a picture of Northeast Ohio circa 1926 and made fascinating the details of both the local and Supreme Court cases.

In her welcome address, Mayor Kirsten Holzheimer Gail commended the Euclid Planning Commission for continuing the legacy of thoughtful planning in Euclid as well as the Landmarks Commission that helped prepare the marker application.

A representative from the Ohio History Connection delivered a proclamation to kick off the ribbon cutting by city officials, council and committee members, and representatives from the American Planning Association.

The marker purchase and dedication event were made possible through the generous support of the Ohio Chapter of the American Planning Association, the Cleveland Section of the American Planning Association, Calfee, Halter & Griswold LLP and a grant from the Ohio History Connection – Historical Markers Program.

The Euclid Historical Society and Museum, 21129 North Street, Euclid, Ohio, is a great place to visit and learn more about the Euclid v Ambler Realty case and the rich history of the City of Euclid.

The Village of Euclid vs. Ambler Realisty historical marker

Marker text:

By 1922, the Ambler Realty Company of Cleveland owned this site along with 68 acres of land between Euclid Avenue and the Nickel Plate rail line. Upon learning of the company’s plans for industrial development, the Euclid Village Council enacted a zoning code based on New York City’s building restrictions. Represented by Newton D. Baker, former Cleveland mayor and U.S. Secretary of War under Woodrow Wilson, Ambler sued the village claiming a loss of property value. In 1926, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of Euclid and upheld the constitutionality of zoning and land-use regulations by local governments. The federal government eventually acquired the Ambler site during World War II to build a factory to make aircraft engines and landing gear. From 1948 to 1992, the site was used as a production facility by the Fisher Body Division of General Motors.

Euclid Chamber hosted luncheon and celebrated Lake County Captains’ victory

Lake County Captains at Classic Park

On June 8, 36 baseball (and Euclid Chamber of Commerce) fans attended the chamber’s luncheon at Classic Park, 35300 Vine Street, Eastlake, Ohio, to root on the Lake County Captains. A good time was had by all as we watched them bring home a victory at 14-12 against the Lancing Lugnuts. The Captains have been a minor-league Class A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians as part of the Midwest League since 2009.

Lake County Captains mascot
Tami Honkala, president & CEO of HELP Foundation, with Lake County Captains mascots


“Before” photos: HGR continues building improvements

New offices and client entrance
Administrative offices and visitor entrance
Leadership and supervisor offices
Leadership and supervisor offices with new steel truss
Kitchen at HGR Industrial Surplus
Kitchen and restrooms

On May 9, Turner Construction, Special Projects Division, broke ground on an interior fit out of 13,000 square feet in the back of HGR Industrial Surplus’ showroom for future use as executive and administrative offices, conference rooms, a kitchen, and restrooms with locker room and shower facilities. Included in the buildout is a new sprinkler system, HVAC system, interior finishes, corridor to connect with the showroom, and a back entrance for business guests. The architectural drawings were designed by Vocon; and construction is targeted for completion in August.

According to Jason Spieth, superintendent with Turner SPD, “The biggest challenge thus far was the coordination of the air handler in the mezzanine area because the lead time for it is 10-12 weeks, which is almost the same duration as the project. Also, it’s location is in the middle of the building; so, we would’ve needed a massive crane to set it through the roof, which would have cost a substantial amount. We elected to drive it into the building and lift it into place, instead. The downside here is that until it is set, we can’t complete some of the finishes in the kitchen area. Other than that, we haven’t had too much trouble.”

The area housed prior tenant, Paintball City. Due to a truss that was collapsing, a new steel beam was installed in the roof. Prior to HGR purchasing the building, the city was talking about closing the building due to a concern that the truss would crush a gas line. HGR purchased the building in 2014, shored up the truss and has replaced it, as can be seen in the photo below.

When it’s finished, we will be sure to show you the “after” photos!













HGR’s Austin office begins training for Austin Fit Company Challenge

Man and women in fitness training

In 2015, HGR’s Austin office entered two teams that placed fifth in the Fittest Companies Micro category, qualifying for the Wall of Champions, and came in second in the Fittest Professionals, Course 3, Level 1. There were 400 participants from 30 companies. Each team consists of three to four members who compete in a three-course fitness challenge.

Once again, the Austin office is up for the challenge and six people have begun twice-per-week group training, with a current focus on strength training, for the Sept. 10 event to take place at Zilker Park (Barton Jaycee Complex). The strength training consists of doing burpees, situps, pushups and mountain climbers each for one minute, rotating nonstop for 20 minutes. Each participant also is encouraged to walk or run on his or her own time for four to six miles per week. The number of reps and time per training will increase every four weeks. That’s dedication!

If you plan to be in Austin, please root them on! We’ll keep you posted on the results.


Ohio historical marker to be dedicated June 9 at HGR’s site

Zoning map with green houses

You are invited to The City of Euclid’s Ohio historical marker dedication on June 9 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at HGR Industrial Surplus, 20001 Euclid Ave., Euclid, Ohio. This event commemorates the 90th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in the landmark case of The Village of Euclid vs. Ambler Realty Co.

According to an article on Wikipedia, “It was the first significant case regarding the relatively new practice of zoning, and served to substantially bolster zoning ordinances in towns nationwide in The United States and in other countries.”

This tract of land remained undeveloped for 20 years until the construction of an aircraft plant during World War II and, later, a GM Fisher Body plant. This site now is the home of HGR Industrial Surplus.

A reception with light refreshments will follow. Please register at:


NEO Sports Plant to build four indoor sand volleyball courts

Men playing indoor sand volleyball

The 60,000-square-foot NEO Sports Plant (www.neosportsplant.com), owned by Rodger Smith, opened May 1 in the site of the former Euclid Sports Plant at 20001 Euclid Avenue in the Nickel Plate Station building behind HGR Industrial Surplus. Smith already has begun renovations, including painting and carpeting the office, cleaning the entire facility, and renovating the bathrooms and locker rooms. He will host a grand reopening in September.

In the meantime, the facility remains open during the summer for youth and adult clinics, camps, tournaments, and private or group lessons on six indoor volleyball courts and four indoor basketball courts. The courts are available for rental to organizations, for business/corporate events, and for private parties and events on a year-round basis.

Smith says that a group of friends or coworkers can form a six-person volleyball team and play for a nine-week session plus two-week playoffs for a around $200 per team plus ref fees. There will be fall, winter and spring leagues. He also plans to start a girls’ J.O. volleyball club where, he says, “Students and parents can get to meet people they never would have met and develop new friendships.” In addition, he would like to see corporate sponsorships of a youth program or individual sponsorships of an underprivileged youth.

The facility also has a weight room for athletic training and conditioning run by Mac Stephens, former NFL linebacker with the New York Jets and Minnesota Vikings and Cleveland Heights head football coach. His team works out here, and college talent scouts have frequented the facility.

There are major improvements in the works. In Phase II, Smith plans to convert the existing baseball area into four indoor sand volleyball courts in time for the grand re-opening. The closest place to play indoor sand volleyball is in Columbus. NEO will be the third facility in Ohio, including Columbus and Cincinnati, but the only one to offer both indoor volleyball and sand volleyball at one facility.

Smith is seeking a grant to dress up the storefront and working to get a liquor license in order to open a bar and grill for participants.

When asked about his lifelong love of sports, he says, “My parents said I would shoot a basket in my crib, and when it would fall out I would start crying.” He played basketball in junior high and high school and football in high school. He got involved with volleyball as a senior in high school and, according to him, “It became an addiction.”

From 2003-2014 he worked in many roles with a facility in Eastlake. In the beginning it was Club Ultimate. When he started with Club Ultimate there were only four outdoor sand courts and about 60 teams. By 2009, he was able to put four indoor courts to go along with the sand courts. In 2010, One Wellness Sports and Health took over the facility. Smith started as an employee and eventually leased space from them to start his own business. From 2010-2014 indoor leagues grew from 60 to 180 teams, and they added two outdoor sand courts. In February 2014, Force Sports bought the business from One Wellness, and Smith became their employee. During the next year and a half he worked with Force to implement their programs. After building the adult volleyball program to 250 indoor teams and more than 300 sand teams, they parted ways. That’s where HGR came into play.

He knew Ron Tiedman, HGR’s chief production operations officer and co-owner, who was a member at One Wellness and whose daughter played for the J.O. volleyball club that practiced there. Smith also was a customer of HGR. Tiedman called him after HGR bought its building to see if Force wanted to expand into the area. It did not.

In April 2016, Smith decided to branch out onto his own, Tiedman put him in touch with the owner of Euclid Sports Plant. Smith bought the business, changed the name, invested in the facility and is committed to bringing volleyball and basketball to youth and adults in the region. He says, “I put people and the game before business without hurting the business.” Smith and his team plan to put in the same work ethic as he did to build the previous business and is excited and thankful for the opportunity to do it again.

Business partners make home furnishings using wood and metal


Stimpson table by Railside Creationsworktable bench by Railside Creations

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Alan Maslar, co-owner, Railside Creations)

Railside Creations, opened in early 2016 by friends Alan Maslar and Chuck Schilling, makes unique furniture pieces and home accessories using wood and metal. Their inspiration comes from classic and modern designs, as well as the natural beauty in wood itself. Maslar had previously been a woodworker for local custom shops where he made a wide variety of furniture, cabinets, and millwork for luxury residences. Exotic woods, veneers, and radius work are some of his specialties. Schilling was employed by the City of Mentor to make exhibits and displays for fairs and Mentor CityFest, while building musical instruments as a hobby on the side. The lack of their individual creativity in their previous jobs motivated them to move and start on their own.

Their vision and approach leads the duo to brainstorming sessions and some design-on-the-fly situations. Many of their pieces are created utilizing re-purposed equipment from HGR Industrial Surplus. Newer technologies, such as AutoCAD and CNC machining also are used by Railside. For several years, their thought process has naturally been aligned with those individuals who have been a part of the Makers Movement, whether Alan and Chuck knew it or not. Using parts and processes different than their intent definitely drives both of these guys in a lot of what they do. In addition to their in-house designed pieces, they also work with customers to help bring their visions to reality.

Maslar and Schilling make sure a trip to HGR is at minimum a monthly excursion. The items they purchase are not usually what you would expect from a couple of woodworkers. “The stock is constantly changing and some pieces just jump out at you as great platforms to build ideas around. We bought an old riveting machine and components from it were the foundation for several pieces of furniture we’ve made. The vast rotating inventory and low prices keep us coming back.” HGR is a great place to outfit most any manufacturing facility; the guys at Railside see it as a place for materials and inspiration.

To view and purchase items made by Railside Creations, visit www.railsidecreations.com, or visit them on Facebook.

Riveter purchased at HGR Industrial Surplus
Riveter purchased at HGR


HGR open May 28

Memorial Day poppy

Although we are closed on Memorial Day to remember those who died while serving in our armed forces, we will be open on Saturday, May 28 during our normal business hours of 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Please have a safe Memorial Day Weekend.

What type of employer is HGR? Employee vlog

To continue our series on “What type of employer is HGR,” we decided to let you hear it directly from our more-recent as well as long-standing employees from all over the country in a variety of positions throughout the organization. Here’s what they had to say about why they joined and why they stay, unscripted and off the cuff:

What’s it like where you work? What is your ideal work environment? What’s the best experience that you ever had at one of your jobs?

Top 3 reasons manufacturers should use inbound marketing to drive leads


Man and woman working at computer station

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Jennifer Ristic, vice president, content, Point To Point)

Industrial manufacturers often discuss the need to use marketing to help increase sales, yet most never pull the trigger.

Gone are the days of winning business strictly through personal relationships or using traditional marketing tactics like high-priced advertisements in trade publications to capture the attention of prospective customers. Today, buyers are in control more than ever, which requires manufacturers to engage with them on the buyers’ terms.

As a B2B marketing agency focused on industrial manufacturing, we’ve found that taking an inbound marketing approach is the most effective ways for a manufacturer to generate qualified sales leads.

According to HubSpot, inbound marketing “focuses on creating quality content that pulls people toward your company and product, where they naturally want to be. By aligning the content you publish with your customer’s interests, you naturally attract inbound traffic that you can then convert, close and delight over time.”

It’s all about ensuring your business can be found easily online, which is accomplished through a blend of content marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), social media, and marketing automation. These efforts, when used in the right way, will turn website traffic into leads and qualified leads into customers.

Here are the top three reasons manufacturers should use inbound marketing:

  1. Your prospective customers already are online researching solutions for their business problems every day. If you’re not there, your competitors are.
  2. There’s no better way to build your credibility and thought leadership than by showcasing what you know. Doing so will earn your audience’s trust while naturally positioning your company’s products as best-in-class.
  3. Qualified leads coming from your website have a higher likelihood to close and become new customers than having your sales team “smile and dial” down a list of purchased contacts.

Because inbound marketing is about attracting – not interrupting – your target market, the more valuable the content, the more engaged your audience will be and the more they will share their information. Building great content, disseminating it via the right mix of marketing communications vehicles and measuring the impact via marketing automation tools will drive real business results for manufacturers who understand the power of marketing.

Point To Point is a premier B2B digital marketing agency focused on accelerating growth through more intelligent customer interactions driven by deep customer insights and data. As a trusted advisor to clients, the company’s cross-functional team brings a unique combination of strategic guidance, creative brilliance, technology innovation and delivery excellence to manage the change and resources to achieve success. For more information, visit www.PointToPoint.com.

What do Elvis, Jimmy Stewart, John Lennon and Fred Astaire have in common?

Elvis Presley accordionJimmy Stewart AccordionJohn LennonFred Astaire accordion






They all played the accordion! And, so do many folks in Cleveland. What style of music often comes to mind when you think of an accordion? Yep, polka. But, not everyone plays polka on the instrument. It can be used for folk music, classical, and even jazz and blues. We talked to Brian Slosarik of Valley City who not only plays the accordion but he is a collector and is well known for accordion repairs.

How did you get involved with accordions?

I work fulltime in HVAC, worked for a heating company for five years and was a builder prior to that for 10 years. My grandfather played the accordion, and I remember hearing him play when I was younger. I lived in California when I was growing up, and my parents pushed us kids into playing a musical instrument. I chose the accordion at the age of nine. I was taught using the Palmer-Hughes Accordion Course, Book 1-12, and additional sheet music, including classical and overtures. After one year of taking lessons I was entered into accordion competition. I did pretty well, collecting several small trophies and many ribbons during the next few years. I quit at 13 after my parents moved to Connecticut because I couldn’t find a teacher who I felt comfortable with in the area. In 2004, I had an accident working on my house. I was on a scaffold painting gutters, stepped off the side of the scaffold and took 15-foot fall. I broke my left foot and right wrist. Recovery was about four months. My hand was still a problem. I still had my original accordion that my dad bought me in 1960. I picked it up for therapy to be able to get my fingers working again, move my wrist and use my hand. That’s all it took. I got hooked again and started buying them. Most needed repairs; so, I took them all the way to the east side to get repaired. To save money and time, I started reading everything I could find on accordion repairs. With the help of a new accordion friend, I began repairing my own. People found out I could do this, and it snowballed. There are usually six to 10 accordions waiting to be repaired in my second-floor shop. I probably work on more than 100 per year. People drive from Michigan, Pennsylavania and southern Ohio to drop them off and send them via UPS from as far away as California. There aren’t many people in this country doing repairs. I am doing my part to try and keep the instruments going. Accordions really are very fragile and need someone to look after them. I do some traveling to accordion events around the country. My favorite is the Cotati accordion Festival in Cotati, California, in August. I enjoy repairing accordions and meeting all the passionate, nutty enthusiasts. It has become a very enjoyable hobby.

What is your favorite style of music to play?

In this area, most players love and play polkas, waltzes and dance I personally like and play jazz-type music from the 40s on my accordion. Friends in California got me involved in jazz. I was playing my old music when I restarted and got hooked up with Frank Marocco’s arrangements and bought up everything he had produced. His music was my influence, and I play some of his arrangements of French and Italian music jazzed up, blues and tangos.

SANOWhat is your favorite accordion? What makes it so special?

My favorite accordion that I play is a Sano double-tone chamber from the 1950s. The Sano brand was imported into the East Coast. The sound is what makes it special to me. The interior is all made from Mahogany wood. Mahogany has a lot to do with the appealing tonal quality. Jazz boxes are mellower with a deeper bassoon. They have a richer tone that is a bit quitter. Not everyone likes this; therefore, they prefer a brighter, livelier, louder accordion.

How are accordions and/or polka music an important part of Cleveland’s history?

Yankovic started here. The Detroit and Pittsburgh areas also have a big polka following, as does the whole Great Lakes area due to the Slavic people who settled this region.

What words of wisdom do you have for the next generation of aspiring musicians?

I know several younger people who love and play the accordion but who are exclusively playing polkas for entertainment. I encourage them to diversify if they want to continue to play because as their audience ages, they need to appeal to other audiences. Some students who visit me from Oberlin College are playing Irish and Scottish mixed with jazz. In Europe the accordion is very popular. You see people playing on street corners. It is a big part of their heritage. The accordion is showing up in popular bands like Bruce Springsteen’s. And with Paul McCartney, I remember from a few years ago seeing an accordion sitting in the corner of a stage during a New Year’s Eve celebration. The accordion is out there. I feel that as younger people discover it, the accordion will be made to do new and different things.

What kind of tools do you use to repair your accordion?

Small files for tuning, custom-made tools for getting in tight places for adjustments, screwdrivers of all sizes, power tools, a table saw, belt sanders, acetones for celluloid work, sanders, polishers, X-Acto knives, glues. Being a former builder, remodeler and cabinet maker, I’ve always been into tools. Many of my tools show their age from many years of use.

What are some of the problems accordions have that cause them to need repair?

From accidents, bass buttons collapse just from knocking it over on the floor. The more you play, the bellows wear out and need to be replaced or retaped. Scratches and dings. Straps wear out, keyboards get out of adjustment and start getting too much play. Humidity and temperature are terrible on accordions. If they are stored on the floor in a basement they can mold inside. Attics with humidity and heat disintegrate the wax causing the reeds to fall out. Accordions like the same atmosphere and living conditions that people like: 70-75 degrees F. As with most things, accordions can just wear out. If it is a good brand, something special or sentimental, an accordion can be rebuilt to like-new condition. I have restored several during the past 10 years, including some for myself.

How long does it take to repair one? How costly is the repair?

I have repaired as many as five in one weekend if they require minor repairs like a stuck or broken reed or a key is hooked and bent. It can take up to 50 hours of work for a major restoration I find most repairs are in the $100-500 range.

How much do accordions cost, and where do people buy them?

A new, small, Chinese accordion runs $500-600 up to $12,000-15,000 for a top-of-the-line Italian accordion. A new full-sized, standard accordion runs $3,000-5,000, and you can get a good used one for $1,000. There are a few stores on the East and West Coasts and in Michigan that sell new ones. There’s nothing in Ohio that I know of. I can order them new through my connections, and I have almost 200 used accordions in my shop with 30-40 ready to sell at any time. I have four in my personal collection: my grandfather’s last accordion, the one from my childhood, my Sano, and one that is believed to have been owned by Myron Floren from the Lawrence Welk Show. I think picking an accordion is very personal. Everyone has different preferences and taste in how it should feel and sound.

How do you tune an accordion?

There are hundreds of reeds inside, and each reed has two reed tongues. When you pull out and push in the bellows the reed should make the same sound. To change the pitch on a reed you scratch or file the tongue in specific places to raise or lower the pitch. I use, in combination, a computer tuning program and Peterson strobe tuner. It can take up to 12 hours to tune a full-sized accordion; therefore, it is expensive — $500 or more. It is difficult to tune an accordion right to get a proper sound when you are done. It’s an art. What makes it more interesting is the different types of tunings there are: dry or concert tuning, polka, Irish, French, Italian and many more. Without proper training and experience a set of reeds can be ruined real fast in the wrong hands. Most accordions only need to be tuned about every five years if they are played regularly. Your better accordions tend to have better quality reeds. The higher quality reeds will hold a tune longer.

ECS state-of-the-schools address highlights value of bond issue

Euclid City Schools Assistant Superintendent Charlie Smialek

At the Wednesday, May 18, state-of-the-schools address and luncheon at Euclid High School, Euclid City Schools’ Assistant Superintendent Charlie Smialek introduced two Euclid High School juniors who sang “Glory” by John Legend. Both have GPAs of 3.6 or higher and are part of the College Credit Plus (CCP) program. Through CCP, they each have already earned 15-20 hours of credits toward college.

Smialek then presented what he calls, “a story of inspiration and bonding together as a community to ensure that we continue to remain a viable educational choice.”
Phase I of that program includes:
• Fiscal responsibility (closing Forest Park to consolidate three schools into two due to structural issues and declining enrollment)
• Student achievement
• Credibility in the community (partnerships with organizations such as Lincoln Electric for a welding lab and HGR Industrial Surplus for a robotics program and scholarship)

He mentioned that a career tech program will be added in 2017 to address the three-million manufacturing jobs that will be open in the next 10 years. It is anticipated that 2 million of those will go unfilled. With the creation of the program, the school hopes to meet the needs of its students, their families and employers looking for a skilled workforce. According to a statistic in his presentation, there’s a 92-percent graduation rate for students who participate in career tech programs versus the 70-percent current Euclid High School graduation rate. The school also plans to work with HGR on its STEM learning lab since half of all STEM jobs do not require a degree and pay an average salary of $53,000.

Phase II revolves around campus achievement, which depends upon an 8-mill, $96.3-million bond issue to create a secondary campus housing grades 6-8 and 9-12 on one site, turn the Forest Park site into an Early Learning Village for ages 3-4 and grade K, make stadium improvements, move the culinary arts program to the secondary campus, and repurpose the Central site as a metropark. If passed, potentially on the November 2016 ballot, this work would take place 2017-2019.

What does it take to become a thought leader in my industry?

Chess pawns for thought leadership

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Liz Fox, marketing associate, MAGNET: The Manufacturing Advocacy & Growth Network)

In the world of manufacturing, the term “thought leadership” is an ever-present buzzword that transcends industry. People perceived as thought leaders often speak at conferences, maintain blogs, and write extensively on topics pertinent to their audience. More importantly, thought leaders engage in the sharing and discussion of ideas that influence the thoughts of others and help people achieve success.

But what does it really take to transform yourself into a thought leader? While you might not become the next Seth Godin or Jim Tompkins, it’s definitely possible to drive conversation and influence key people in your industry. The following characteristics can help you not only be perceived as a thought leader, but engage with others on multiple levels that can propel your ideas forward.

Enhanced Storytelling: Stories are the first step to connecting with your audience on a personal level. Begin with a hook, then dive into details to which you feel they’ll respond. Anecdotes from your own life often serve as great backdrops, descriptors, and metaphors for the larger message you may be trying to convey.

Quality Curating: Thought leaders know great content when they see it, and many have the impulse to share it with others. Think about what topics are important to you, then research different aspects of them. Determine which publications and sources are the most relevant or credible, then put them out there for the world to see – it will only add to your credibility.

Leveraged Networks: While your expertise alone may be important in some areas, becoming a thought leader is also about who you know. It’s crucial to stay connected to key figures inside (and outside) of your industry, as there are some who can help you tell your story and share your ideas in a meaningful way. After all, this is why LinkedIn and other social media platforms have been so successful for existing thought leaders!

Individualism and Credibility: The value of a unique and trusted voice cannot be understated in the world of thought leadership. No matter your audience, location, or enterprise, conveying your competence plays a vital role in growing your support base. Tone also matters; so, it is recommended that you find a balance between being relatable and being an expert with all the answers.

Developing these qualities requires a huge commitment and may not come easily to some; however, turning yourself into a thought leader in your industry can empower you and ultimately take your company to new heights of success. For example, MAGNET’s intimate event series, [M]anufacturing Matters, is a new part of our strategy that has driven leads and kept manufacturers informed of present and future trends. Our passion for the region is reflected in our eagerness to share important information with others, and such a trait is crucial in training yourself to become an expert in thought leadership.

Want to know how MAGNET can help your business? Call Linda Barita at 216.600.1022 or email linda.barita@magnetwork.org.

HGR announces 2016 recipient of $2,000 STEM scholarship

Tiffany Moore HGR Industrial Surplus 2016 STEM Manufacturing Scholarship Recipient

On. Thursday, May 12, at Senior Awards Night at the Euclid High School auditorium, HGR Industrial Surplus’ Human Resources Manager Tina Dick presented a $2,000 scholarship to Tiffany Moore for her scholastic and personal achievements, as well as for her interest in pursuing her education in a STEM-related field, which encompasses science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

The requirements for this year’s scholarship included:

  • active or interested in STEM
  • in good academic standing
  • enrolled as a senior at Euclid High School
  • applied to an institution of higher education or a trade or technical school for the next academic year
  • demonstrated financial need

In addition to the application, students provided an autobiographical essay, a need statement and one to three letters of reference.

Moore is an honors student and has taken college courses since the eighth grade. She applied to seven universities with the intent to major in computer networking. During her time at EHS, she has participated in the girls’ varsity soccer, basketball and track teams and was selected to participate in the school’s “Stand Up” ambassador’s committee, a group of students who demonstrate leadership skills and are willing to encourage others to do the same. The group meets to discuss ways to mediate the violence in schools and travelled to the elementary schools in the district to model ways to stand up to bullying. She also is enrolled in the school’s Cisco Academy where she obtained her Microsoft certifications.

Outside of school, she is heavily involved with her community. She volunteers at a nursing home, provides meals to families at the Ronald McDonald House, supplies young mothers with the items they need to take care of their newborns through Stork’s Nest and walks in the March for Babies and Relay for Life. In the future, her goal is to own her own electronic media company and increase the number of women working in the technology field. To that end, has participated in and created a website for IndeedWeCode, a program for African-American women interested in information technology.

Congratulations, Tiffany! HGR Industrial Surplus is proud of you and of the other talented applicants. You and your classmates will make a significant impact on science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields and the manufacturing industry. Good luck and keep us posted on how you do.

Market research turns up the strangest things

Can of WD-40

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Odell Coleman, partner at ColemanWick, a Northeast Ohio research and analytics firm)

You probably know that many of the world’s most famous and widely used brands became successful by accident. Slinky, Silly Putty, potato chips, penicillin, microwave ovens — the list goes on and on. These items were all either by-products of efforts to make something else, or were simply attempts to solve one problem, yet turned out to solve everyday problems around the world.

WD-40 was supposed to just be a solvent for the aerospace industry. It’s now in about four out of five American households. The most amazing thing is its multitude of uses — making bird feeder poles too slippery for squirrels, for example.

Which proves that you never know all the ways a product might be useful beyond its intended purpose.

As a research firm, ColemanWick is in a unique position to observe and become learned across a variety of businesses and industries. Over the years, one of the most interesting things we’ve learned is that there are re-uses for machines and parts beyond sending them to scrap. You might be surprised at how often pieces of equipment, large and small, can be valued by other operations within and without a particular industry.

For instance, we were hired by a nuts and bolts manufacturer to survey its customers and markets in order to help the company gain a better understanding of its B2B buyers. Lo and behold, our work revealed a B2C market that the manufacturer had no idea existed. I don’t have to tell you how thrilled they were to find a new revenue stream.

This case represents good news for anyone with the problem of outdated or irrelevant equipment and the challenge of asset recovery: invest some research bucks to find out who else might put it to good use.

The lesson learned by the nuts and bolts company was that it benefitted from a perspective outside of its own. Companies tend to focus so much on their own operation that they’re blind to opportunities all around them.

In truth, there are many successful companies that recognize that adhering to best practices includes having a dedicated budget for annual research. They know that research experts are bound to uncover surprising data that benefits their enterprise.

A few examples include:

  • Spotting budding industry trends
  • Making informed decisions on markets
  • Understanding your competition

Unlike WD-40, this blog has only one use – to help you understand how, with market research, you can take advantage of other markets, implement new product lines, understand your competition or use existing resources in different ways. These are just some of the many ways research uncovers data that pays for itself many times over.

For more information, contact Odell at ocoleman@colemanwick.com or 216.991.4504.

Wanted: Summer sales & marketing intern for paid internship

Summer internHGR Industrial Surplus, Inc. has a paid summer internship opportunity available in our Sales and Marketing Department.

This 35- to-40-hour-per-week position primarily is designed to give a student the opportunity to work on various sales and marketing pilot projects to support the needs of the company, while developing and learning sales techniques, networking, effective content marketing, and customer service skills.

• Content marketing and research as it pertains to specific machinery and inventory listings
• Mining current customer database for customers with potential that have not recently purchased from HGR
• Contact and follow-up with potential customers, qualifying prospects, and lead generation via cold calling from supplied marketing list
• Data entry utilizing CRM
• Participate in departmental meetings for both marketing and sales, as well as participating in sales training and role playing
• Tracking and measuring of pilot projects to determine success rate


• Currently enrolled in a bachelor’s or post-graduate program at a U.S. institution

• Pursuing degree in business, management or marketing
• Excellent verbal and written communication skills
• Ability to work independently
• Highly organized with strong attention to detail, clarity and accuracy
• Candidate from the Cleveland/Akron area preferred


• Proficient communicator
• Proficient in Microsoft Office, sales & marketing functions, and people skills
• Content writing and content strategy knowledge preferred

If interested, apply here by May 31.

Snow plow blades used by 38 states made in Euclid

Snow removal blade_ Snow plow
Workers removing an old snow-removal blade to replace with a new, high-tech blade

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Patrick Hawkins, president, Ironhawk Industrial)

Ironhawk Industrial is a manufacturer and distributor of high-tech snow removal products made in The United States. We came to Euclid in 2012 and have enjoyed a great relationship with the city and the local business community. After the company started in late 2010, the owners looked for a location that provided expandable space, access to major interstate shipping routes and the right business environment.

Euclid is a community that is interested in growing economically. The mayor personally returned our initial inquiry call, and the Economic Development Director Jonathan Holody has visited our offices several times to assist us with getting to know the resources available in Euclid. The infrastructure investment and landscaping on E. 222nd Street has been a real plus along with responsive city services.

Ironhawk makes high-tech blades and cutting edges that are used in 38 state departments of transportation for plowing and road repair. Ironhawk also serves most of the municipalities in Northeast Ohio where clearing roads during the snow season is important to serving their residents and businesses.

During the last five years, the company has acquired two additional snow-related companies: Safety Source, run by General Manager Pat Gavin, and Elkin, run by General Manager Eric Fox. The company continues to grow in both locations fueled in part by a strategy of purchasing raw materials, including carbide (second only in hardness to diamonds), and manufacturing its flagship products entirely in the U.S. All of its competitors import their carbide from China. Ironhawk has been able to secure a valuable partnership with Kennametal for domestic carbide and offer its products at a lower cost than the imported competition.

Our customers also have access to the industry’s best technical expertise. Ron Abramczyk, a five-year Ironhawk employee, came from a local competitor and has 20 years of industry experience. Mike Sparks joined Ironhawk after 30 plus years with Bucyrus Blades located in Central Ohio. Elizabeth Dellinger comes from a major Cleveland law firm background as a partner and also serves as chief operating officer. Rebecca Schaltenbrand is an attorney who practiced municipal law prior to joining Ironhawk. Together, they ensure that Ironhawk is in compliance with all state policies and regulations.

The Euclid team is rounded out with Sales Manager Brad Toth, Karen Ryan as Inside Sales and Bev Franczyk at the front desk. Customers appreciate the fact that their orders are filled quickly by this team and that each order gets a follow-up call to ensure that it is correct — not an easy task given there are hundreds of plow configurations and thousands of part numbers across our large geography.

Currently, the team is working on testing two additional products made solely in the U.S. Solving customers’ problems and saving snow removal dollars drive our growth. The high-tech blades last longer than traditional blades and help reduce the cost of salt, by far the largest costs in snow removal. The better the blade, the better the snow cleaning, so the need for additional salt is diminished.

A-Tech wins AWT RoboBots Competition

On Apr. 30, 28 high school teams from Ashtabula, Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake and Summit counties competed at Lakeland Community College’s Athletic and Fitness Center. The sixth-annual regional robotics combat robotics competition was presented by the Alliance for Working Together Foundation and sanctioned by the National Robotics League.

Sparks and metal flew as the bots’ weapons collided in a Lexan cage during three-minute, double-elimination rounds until the last bot standing belonged to “Atech Machinists” from Ashtabula County Technical and Career Center with last year’s champs “Dreadnaught” from Madison High School in second place and “Beaumonsters” from Beaumont School in third place.

Each team was paired with a local manufacturing sponsor that provided financial support and technical advice to its team. And, for the first time, 27 middle-school teams competed in the 1.5-minute, single-elimination Junior Bots Competition with mini robot kits that they assembled and drove. “Team Bombers” from Kenston Middle School took first place.

Congrats to all the teams, especially HGR’s “Untouchables” from Euclid High School! Euclid High’s team, coached by Jason Coleman and Bob Torrelli, included students Alex Bowman, Ethan Clark, Eddie Conger, Corbin Gray, Dan Hercik, Connor Hoffman, Luke Johnson, Peter Powell, Joshua Ritchey and Dayna Shirer.

Here are our tweets — and one from AWT Robobots — sharing the Untouchables’ progress.

Spoiler alert: Video recap of HGR’s 18th anniversary, robots included

On Apr. 28, HGR held an anniversary sale that included a complimentary lunch from The Nosh Box, a demo by Euclid High School’s “The Untouchables” Robotics Team of its competition battle robot and a demo by Tim Willis of his 15-foot-tall transformer and robotic dog. During the course of the day, about 150 customers visited the showroom, and more than 1,220 items were sold. Check out the video:



Editor of Fresh Water Magazine sees poetry in machines

(image courtesy of Bob Perkoski Photography)

Erin O’Brien was deep in her career as a project engineer with BP America. She says it was a lucrative and great career, but all of that changed when her brother, Novelist John O’Brien, known for Leaving Las Vegas, committed suicide. This caused Erin to re-evaluate her life. BP was leaning staff and offered a buyout. Erin says “I didn’t want to sit in an office looking at designs for panel boards for the rest of my life.” In 1995, an author was born.

With no formal training, she tried her hand at fiction and nonfiction but found her calling by working as a journalist. She advises young writers: “Sit in a room and write and write and write.” For her, this philosophy resulted in her first published clip in 2000. She was paid $5 by Ohio Writer Magazine for a 900-word book review. She went on to freelance, including writing features for Fresh Water since its second or third issue in 2010. During that time, she covered brick-and-mortar news and penned profiles for other area magazines on many area manufacturing companies, including Vitamix, OsteoSymbionics, Excelas, Nestle, Ohio Awning and Manufacturing, and Quasar Energy Group. As she talks about how her technical background has helped her as a writer, she relates her experience writing about an anaerobic ingestor that turns organic waste into compressed natural gas, “We have to be a translator and distill technical information into readable, engaging prose. These people work hard and want to tell their stories.”

With an ongoing interest in manufacturing and industry, in 2013, O’Brien visited HGR Industrial Surplus’ showroom where she was profoundly moved because her dad, who died in 2002, was a machinist. In response, she wrote a blog post about HGR that came to the attention of Tina Dick, HGR’s human resources manager. Dick hired O’Brien to put together a timeline of the company’s historical site for its dedication ceremony. O’Brien also included HGR in a story about upcycling resources for local industrial artists. And, she covered HGR’s dedication ceremony for Fresh Water. She says, “HGR is one of my favorite places in Northeast Ohio. It houses machines that represent the Rust Belt. It’s just poetry.”

After working as a feature writer and development news writer with Fresh Water, she recently was promoted to managing editor and has put her freelance activities on hold to focus on the weekly e-magazine. She shares that the magazine’s perspective “is about what’s fresh and new in Cleveland that The Plain Dealer or Cleveland.com are not covering, or about covering those stories from a new angle.” The magazine’s focus is on arts and culture, innovation, human-interest stories. Her vision is “to re-energize the magazine as we travel through 2016, with a keen awareness of the elephants headed this way and that all eyes will be on us this summer. Let’s look gorgeous while everyone is looking at Cleveland, Ohio, and showcase its diversity,” she states.

She sums up with her thoughts on Cleveland’s manufacturing future: “One sector that can’t be denied in Northeast Ohio is the medical sector. We also have housing stock that is affordable. There is a Renaissance that has resulted in low vacancy rates downtown. A lot is percolating. We may not be the blue-collar town that we once were, but I’m excited to see what Cleveland will look like in the next 10 years.”

Cheer on local high schools’ robotics teams

The Euclid High School RoboBots Untouchables T-shirt

Join HGR Industrial Surplus on Saturday, Apr. 30 as we root on Euclid High School’s Untouchables Robotics Team in their battle robot competition against other local high schools at Lakeland Community College starting at 8:30 a.m. (doors open at 8 a.m.).

Here they are practicing for their match:


And, if you can’t make it in person, you can watch the competition live via streaming video on YouTube:

HGR’s enhanced website goes live

HGR Industrial Surplus New Website Launch

We are pleased to announce that after several months of planning and development, we launched our enhanced website this weekend.

This redesign comes on the heels of our last update one year ago. We received feedback via a customer survey and decided to make additional enhancements to the user experience.

Here are some of the new features that you will see:

  • A more accurate search function
  • Less white space and more products per page
  • The ability to click a product and expand it through quicklook without leaving the page
  • Color-coded items (new arrival, markdown, last chance) for easy identification
  • The ability to toggle between list view and a grid or tile view
  • Enhanced print templating for ease of printing items of interest
  • Enhanced sales inquiry form
  • Blog incorporated into the website
  • Display of “Trust” logos that show our affiliations with important organizations
  • Favorites function that allows customers to quickly assemble a list of items, then add any or all of those items to their shopping cart
  • Enhanced product images: This is being phased-in, but our inventory clerks will begin loading images at higher resolution. It will take several months for lower-resolution images to work their way through inventory, but down the road all of the images should be about twice the size that they were on the prior version of the website.
  • A zoom image feature to take a closer look at photo details

As always, we welcome your feedback and hope these changes enhance your shopping experience.

HGR partners with auction house to move high-dollar items

HGR Industrial Surplus and Cincinnati Industrial Auctioneers Auction

On Apr. 20, HGR Industrial Surplus partnered with Cincinnati Industrial Auctioneers to host a public auction of all of the tools and equipment at the former Ohio Camshaft/OC Industries site in Twinsburg, Ohio, due to the plant’s closure. The parking lot was full at 9:30 a.m. with many pickup trucks full of dollies and pallets, and the auction of 642 lots began at 10 a.m. with 69 onsite and 96 online bidders from 22 states, Canada, Peru and Turkey. Everything was lined up nicely and tagged for display in the plant. Two machinists were available to demonstrate the equipment and provide information. The auction started with small tabletop items with the large equipment being sold around lunchtime.

Jeff Luggen, vice president and principal auctioneer at CIA, and his brother, Jerome, have been in the business for 35 years, and his father and mother started the company in 1961. Jeff’s sons Jeffrey and Joseph joined the company in the early 2000s, and Jerome’s son, Ryan, joined in 2013. That’s three generations of Luggen expertise! Speaking of experts, about six rigging companies from all over the country, including New Jersey, North Carolina and Ohio, were available to help customers haul their items off premises.

The top five items that sold were:

  • $100,000.00 – 42” x 192” Clausing Model CL45200 Flat Bed CNC Lathe (2006)
  • $48,000.00 – 60” Summit Model 60-VBM Vertical Boring Mill
  • $42,500.00 – 43” x 315” Hankook Model Proturn 100 Flat Bed CNC Lathe (1997)
  • $40,000.00 – 26” x 240” Norton OD Cylindrical Grinder
  • $30,000.00 – 32” x 144” Berco Type RTM-425A Crankshaft Grinder

The auction was advertised by brochure mailer, CIA and HGR email blasts, Bidspotter email blast, AuctionZip and signage to attract drive-by customers.

The partnership with HGR began when Rick Affrica, HGR’s chief purchasing officer and partner, began attending CIA auctions in 1998. He says, “I have attended their auctions, and it’s been a great fit. They’ve been very responsive and timely and treated our customers the way we want them to be treated by answering their questions, providing alternatives and finding ways to meet the customers’ goals. That’s why we have continued to work with them during the past few years. We partner with other auction houses, as well, to meet our customers’ needs.”

Educating the workforce for manufacturing careers

manufacturing training

According to the Society of Manufacturing Engineers’ Workforce Imperative: A Manufacturing Education Strategy, “Manufacturing is a key component of modern society, enabling people to build the goods and products they need to eat, live, entertain and protect themselves.” But, recently, the industry has faced two challenges — an aging-out/retiring workforce and the lack of younger talent to fill positions — which both are contributing to up to 600,000 unfilled manufacturing jobs in the United States.


This shortage of available, qualified workers to keep domestic manufacturers competitive is due, in part, to a deficit in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills being taught in schools. And, according to Manpower, “The nature of manufacturing jobs has changed dramatically over recent decades because of new technologies. Many manufacturing technologies are all heavily computer-based. These are complex technologies, and programmers and operators of them require substantial technical training.”

With these career opportunities, it’s important for students and workers at the stage of choosing a career or training to consider a career in manufacturing due to:

  • The availability of jobs
  • The opportunity to apply creativity and innovation
  • Financial rewards (average starting salaries: $24/hour with associate’s and $57,000/year with bachelor’s according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)
  • An under-representation of women and minorities
Distribution by occupational group (May 2013), courtesy of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Distribution by occupational group (May 2013), courtesy of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

There are a variety of openings in production, maintenance and repair, transportation/logistics, product development, engineering, sales, management and administration that require critical thinking and problem solving skills, which can be learned through hands-on technical programs, industry certifications, or two- and four-year degree programs.

courtesy of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration
courtesy of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration

























Click here for a list of colleges in Ohio that offer two- and four-year degree programs in manufacturing technology. The Ohio Department of Higher Education also offers manufacturing education resources. Two organizations with websites that supply additional information are: The Manufacturing Institute of the National Association of Manufacturers and the Society of Manufacturing Engineers.

HGR congratulates its weight-loss winners

HGR Industrial Surplus’ employees decided to have their own “Biggest Loser” competition. The cost was $25 to enter as “motivation” to compete for the prizes (weight loss and $900 to the winner, $500 for second place and a day of paid time off to each member of the winning team). The competition ran Jan. 15 through Apr. 15. The individual winner and team winner were selected based upon the greatest percentage of weight lost during the course of three months, though everyone lost weight; so, they are all winners.

Please join us in congratulating:

  • Dave “DB” Burzanko for first place with 41.6 pounds lost or 16.06%
  • Chris Gibson for second place with 31.4 pounds lost or 15.13%
  • Joe Powell for third place with 32.8 pounds lost or 12.97%
  • The team of Chris and Joe, each winning a PTO day, with 29% combined

Check out these before and after shots:

Dave Burzanko's before photo
DB Burzanko, before
Chris Gibson's before photo
Chris Gibson, before
Joe Powell's before photo
Joe Powell, before










Dave Burzanko's after photo
DB Burzanko, after
Chris Gibson's after photo
Chris Gibson, after
Joe Powell's after photo
Joe Powell, after






Local businesses cooperate to ensure City of Euclid’s growth

Teamwork and cooperation

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Derek Dixon, reporter for The Real Deal Press)

The picture painted by Euclid Mayor Kirsten Holzheimer Gail in her February “State of the City” address was an undeniable account of how committed small business owners, skilled laborers, concerned citizens, and public officials, are to the lakefront city’s restoration.

The spirit of cooperation that many municipalities seek between their councils, school boards and chambers of commerce has reached a measurable degree of fruition in Euclid. The agenda items at any one of their regular meetings often include references to the endeavors of the other agencies. Euclid’s stakeholders have not only achieved, but shown a willingness to sustain, civic growth ahead of individual promotion. Perhaps it also is what so clearly justifies the operations of an outfit like HGR Industrial Surplus.

The commonalities between the industrial surplus giant and the city it calls home go beyond evident. They border on mutually essential.

Mayor Gail acknowledged that the city is facing a 2016 where the city’s plans to maintain growth outpace its budgetary readiness to support it; however, she followed that statement with kudos to HGR and other anchor companies for making timely reinvestment efforts. One needs to look no further than HGR’s plan to provide six figures of square footage to a used car company in the near future. The newcomer will fix and eventually resell vehicles on a scale reflective of HGR’s own business. The resulting tax revenue will only bolster what HGR already generates through its efficient warehouse-style model.

Euclid’s small business community also has expanded in the past year with new eateries, grocers, and a brewery, among others. The infrastructures of buildings that house such operations rely on dependable industrial appliances—electric generators, furnaces and boilers, air conditioning units, compressors, water pumps, etc. Quality customer service also requires cash registers, computers, supply cabinets, vacuum cleaners, water coolers or fountains, and dishwashing units to name a few. Once again, HGR has the flexibility and variety of inventory to address each need.

That city that can galvanize three branches into an emerging vision of civic rebirth is unique. Not so unique are the limitations of financial and material access in pursuit of it. Almost non-existent is an entity like HGR that is prepared from all facets — business model, partnership outreach, and product availability — to provide solutions.

Manufacturing’s next high-tech tool: the video camera

videography for manufacturers

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Windom Ratchford, video freelancer and proprietor, Creative Gold Media)

Today’s manufacturing operations are innovative masterpieces. Engineers and machinists are working together to make manufacturing shops clean, well-lighted environments brimming with advances in modern tooling and design. These advances include CNC machining technology, 3D printing, computer-assisted design, and the video camera. The VIDEO CAMERA?

Yes, the video camera! Specifically, “video communications.” While it will never be confused with a 5-axis milling machine or an injection molding machine, video is a tool that holds its own with regard to adding value within a manufacturing operation. It is a communications tool that is primed to deliver key messages to staff and customers. Here are three areas where I have found video communications to be beneficial for manufacturers:


If you have staff, you have a need for training and continuous improvement. That training is likely best handled through “hands-on” instruction. When such instruction is not possible for reasons such as limited availability of training staff, an effective alternative is video-based training. Video-based training can be used as a self-serve resource that can be shared online, through a company’s intranet or even through DVDs. Such a resource can be used for primary training or when workers need a refresher on a process.


As impressive and as cool as your manufacturing operation is, who knows about it outside of your company? A brief customer-facing video highlighting how your innovations make for a better product may serve as a big advantage over competitors! When customers visit your website, reward them with a peek into the innovations you have put in place to benefit them.


From machine safety to fire and alarm safety, there are crucial messages that must be communicated to every worker in the shop or office. Creating a safety video can be an easy and effective way to educate staff on proper procedures related to their well-being. Videos of this type can be used when on-boarding new workers or when new policies are developed. Such videos also can help support state and federal government safety regulations.

If your organization is interested in communicating through video, I encourage you to touch base with a professional for initial guidance on leveraging this powerful resource. With a video camera, editing equipment, and knowledge, video communications may become the most versatile tool in your operation next to that automated 5-axis mill.

Windom Ratchford is available for video production and consultation services at (440) 789-5400 or Windom@CreativeGoldMedia.com.

What type of employer is HGR? Values program

Get Busted exemplifying HGR's values

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Tina Dick, human resources manager, HGR Industrial Surplus)

The premise of HGR’s values program was to implement a company culture that would result in HGR:

  • Becoming a standout company in our field
  • Having high morale resulting in satisfied employees
  • Being values driven in our hiring, promotion and performance
  • Having our values transcend our market

A committee of leaders within HGR was formed to discuss and determine specifically what values were currently in place, which needed to be tweaked and which values were believed to have a need to become more prevalent in order to develop the company culture HGR was seeking.

Through several though-provoking meetings and conversations the following values were determined to be most important:

  • Ethical in all of our business activities
  • Support each other with openness, honesty, trust and respect while working as a team to achieve our common goals
  • Accountable in making and fulfilling our commitments to each other, our customers and our community
  • Create exceptional customer relationships by enhancing awareness and expectations of outstanding service with every interaction
  • Personal dedication to continuous improvement in creating employee and company success

HGR then needed to ensure that these values became a part of our everyday operations and conversation. We had to live them.

To help develop this culture a two-year program was born to encourage employees, management and officers to acknowledge and be aware of those individuals who represented our company’s values on a daily basis by nominating them for recognition.

To date, 321 awards have been presented to employees for representing those values. Many have been nominated more than once. This past year, the theme for nominating employees was to “bust” them living our values.

Several time per month, the Values Committee with either Brian Krueger or Ron Tiedman march through the office with the “Bad Boys” theme song from the television show “Cops” and “bust” an employee who was nominated by a peer.

Stay tuned next month for the third blog in our series “What type of employer is HGR?” You will get to meet some employees and hear about why HGR is special to them.

Scholarship deadline extended

Pen and scholarship application with books

A $2,000 science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) scholarship is being offered to one senior at Euclid High School who meets the eligibility criteria in this application and submits his or her materials by the deadline. And, as if that’s not enough good news, we’ve extended the application deadline from Apr. 15 to Apr. 29. The scholarship will be presented and the winner notified on May 5 at the high school’s Academic Achievement Banquet at Tizzano’s Party Center. Good luck!

Mobile business solutions streamline processes


(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Andrew Glicker, account executive, Edgecliff Technology Innovators, LLC)

Think about the company you work for now. What do they do, and how do they do it? When you look up a file or transaction, is it on paper or in a file cabinet? When you get a new customer or client do they have to fill out a paper form? Do you or other employees have to fill out paper forms? What if there were no paper forms to fill out? What if there was an easier way?

You can use a preconfigured mobile application as a template and tailor it to meet your specific needs or start from scratch and design it. Some of the options include barcode reading, RFID tags, taking pictures, talk to text, capture signatures, and many more.

Going mobile is the direction a lot of companies are heading, and the ones that have done so have had great results. Instead of giving a customer a form to fill out they hand them a phone or tablet that will upload the data as soon as it’s submitted. This eliminates having to give the form to an employee who would have to enter the information into the computer, which in turn saves a lot of time. The same works for employees who currently use a clipboard with paper forms attached. Going mobile saves a lot of time and money while also allowing employees to be much more productive.

Step 1 is simply looking at and examining your current everyday business process. Maybe your current process works just fine the way it is, or maybe there is room for improvement. Some of the best practices for building a mobile strategy are:

  1. Organize your IT mobility team for success
  2. Identify which partners best align with your mobility strategy.
  3. Implement an IT self-service model.
  4. Leverage both cloud-based and on-premises solutions.
  5. Consider mobility to be a platform for innovation.

For additional information or questions visit our website at www.edgeclifftech.com or give us a call at 1-844-769-1769. We specialize in mobile business solutions to help companies with their everyday business process and make that process as simple, efficient, and productive as possible using mobile technology.

High school students make prosthetic hand using 3D printer

Mayfield High School students with 3D prosthetic hand
Senior CADD students Julius Gartrell, Ezell Williams and Edwin Sapozhnikov are shown with the 3D printed e-NABLE prosthetic hand that Ezell and Edwin recently assembled. Julius designed the rotating stand. Both the hand and stand will be featured as part of 3D printer manufacturer MakerGear’s exhibit at the Hanover Messe Trade Fair in Germany later this month.

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Craig Schmidt, CADD Engineering Technology teacher, Excel TECC, Mayfield City School District)

The engineering and manufacturing fields have seen incredible advancements in technology over the last 30 years. We moved from board drafting to computer-aided drafting, and then to modeling parts on-screen. Manufacturing processes continue to be automated and improved. We often hear of another technology – 3D printing. What is 3D printing, and how has it impacted a high school engineering program?

The process begins with a digital “model,” which can be created using several different methods. These models can be created with software applications, scanned using 3D scanners or may be scanned using a smartphone camera in conjunction with IOS or Android applications.  Once the model is completed, it must be prepared for printing. The model is then prepared using a “slicing” application, which converts the model into thin layers and creates code to communicate with the printer.

In traditional machining processes, also known as “subtractive” manufacturing, a piece of raw material is cut in various ways to create a part. In the 3D printing process, also known as “additive” manufacturing, we begin with a computer model, and the 3D printer builds the part layer by layer until it is complete. Plastic filament, 1.75 mm in diameter, is fed through a moving heated extruder, which compresses the filament. The heated filament is deposited on a moving build plate, typically in 0.02 mm thick layers. Print times can range from a few minutes, for an extremely tiny part, to a day or more for larger parts.

3D printing has significantly changed our CADD Engineering Technology program at the Mayfield Innovation Center on the Mayfield High School campus. In November 2014, I applied for and received a grant from the Mayfield Business Alliance to purchase our first 3D printer. Students have seen their ideas “come to life” through various engineering and architectural 3D-printed projects.

Our program is a two-year college tech prop program and is part of Excel TECC (Technical Education Career Consortium). The Mayfield Innovation Center also is home to Mayfield High School STEM2M (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine) programs. This year, freshman students were offered biomedical science and engineering courses. Additional courses will be offered each year. The center also hosts visits from the district’s elementary and middle school students. The facility is state-of-the-art, and includes a fabrication lab, amphitheater, numerous collaboration spaces and a café.

Last fall, Gina Burich, a French teacher at Mayfield High School, circulated a French video showing a child using a 3D-printed prosthetic hand. I was intrigued by the video and showed it to our class. Using downloaded files, our student team printed and built a test hand, which was submitted to e-NABLE, a world-wide network of prosthetic device makers. We became an approved e-NABLE maker in December. A local family, whose son was in need of a prosthetic hand, passed through CADD student Emily Pietrantone’s checkout lane at Target. She connected the family with our program, and their son will be our first prosthetic hand recipient in late April! Our students exhibited the prototype prosthetic hands at National Manufacturing Day, the Ohio School Boards Association Student Achievement Fair and at the Mayfield Science Showcase. Our students, and the prosthetic hands, have been featured on Fox 8 television and on cleveland.com.   This project – which first began via an email and then a chance encounter in a checkout lane – is not only a great hands-on class project using 3D printing technology, but has given our students an opportunity to change lives.

Cleveland metal finishing shop starts with a handshake between families



Eriewview Metal Treating

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Dennis Kappos, VP-Sales, Erieview Metal Treating, www.erieviewmetal.com)

President and General Manager Alex Kappos, VP-Sales Dennis Kappos and Comptroller George Kappos are brothers and second-generation owners of Erieview Metal Treating, 4465 Johnston Parkway, Cleveland, Ohio. The company was founded by their father, George Kappos, Sr. and their uncle, John Kappos. So, the company began with two brothers and is now owned and operated by three brothers.

The founders grew up in Wheeling, West Virginia, and both travelled to Cleveland for college. They attended John Carroll University and Fenn College (known today as Cleveland State University). Both brothers played basketball, sometimes against each other on their respective teams. They both met their future wives while living in Cleveland and stayed here after they received their college diplomas to start their careers.

The company was founded in 1961 with the help of the Mandel brothers, the owners of Premier Industrial Corp., now part of Premier Farnell. The Mandel brothers funded the start-up of Erieview with a 10 -year interest free loan. There was no contract, just two families looking each other in the eye while they shook hands — something that would never happen today.

Erieview started out as a small metal finishing shop doing two finishes, zinc and cad plating, with six employees. Premier was their largest customer for many years. Today, the company has expanded to 85 employees, more than 25 finishes and hundreds of customers.

Some of the industries served are:

  • Automotive
  • Truck and Trailer
  • Construction
  • Marine
  • Electrical
  • Aerospace
  • Appliance
  • Military Defense

For a company that specializes in bulk finishing for a wide range of industries and is witness to several downturns, including the most recent hard-hitting recession, Erieview has managed to celebrate 55 years in Cleveland. It has not always been smooth sailing and the city has changed a lot during the years, from a manufacturing perspective. Dennis recalls driving the company truck in the late 60s and into the 70s and being in awe of all the manufacturing in Cleveland. He says, “I remember driving through The Flats and seeing barbed wire as far as the eye could see. All the nails in the entire world were made here at that time. People don’t know this, but Cleveland was the fastener capital of the world in those days.” Alex says, “The great majority of fastener manufacturing from our hometown is now in Taiwan and China.”

The company has had to make changes to survive in that changing world. What made it work took effort, but it really is a pretty simple philosophy: We have the best people in the industry working here that are dedicated to providing the best service to the customer and a company philosophy of sticking to what we do best. We also use that same philosophy when working with our suppliers. HGR Industrial Surplus is a great example of that. You will find our head of maintenance and our plant manager visiting HGR many times throughout the month. We are a service company, and they are a great resource to help us maintain our plant operations.

Third-generation plastic fabricator and distributor calls Euclid home

Mitch Opalich, president of Indelco Custom Products, Inc., is the third generation of Opaliches to steer the business that has been in existence since 1965. The company originally was founded by Opalich’s father, George, and grandfather, Stephen, both engineers, as Cleveland Plastic Fabricators & Suppliers, Inc., when they were asked by a national manufacturing customer of their metalworking company to fabricate and machine plastics.

Since the family lived in Collinwood and Richmond Heights, Opalich says, “It made sense to locate the business in Euclid due to its proximity to a high concentration of manufacturing and OEM companies,” and it has remained here even though the Opaliches sold the business to their employees in the early 1970s. In 1994, Mitch Opalich bought the business back after finishing graduate school and working in the financial industry. He sold the company in 2008 to a Minneapolis-based plastics distributor, and the name changed to Indelco in 2014. Though he no longer owns the company, he remains president, and the company remains family owned by the Dore brothers. Opalich sold the business to leverage the buying power, infrastructure and capital of the third-largest player in the industry. He met the owners through his membership in the International Association of Plastics Distribution. Indelco Cleveland currently has more than 250 customers, 50 percent of which are in Northeast Ohio.

Opalich says, “We’re an industrial plastic distributor and fabricator specializing in fluid process control.” What does that mean? Well, some of the cool items that they have fabricated include:

  • a Simona® Eco-Ice® plastic surface made of ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene that is used as an ice skating rink (Yes, you skate ON the plastic with no water or ice, and there’s one in our backyard that University Circle Inc. had installed.)
  • clear acrylic poker chip carriers used by casinos
  • the plastic plating barrels used by mints to plate coins (Indelco’s are being used in China.)
  • an acrylic humidor for Opalich’s and his friends’ cigars
  • a training tool for surgeons to practice threading screws into titanium replacement parts and fractures
  • retrofitting a fire truck into a 5,000-gallon brine spreader to salt the roads
  • and reverse osmosis water purification tanks and piping.

Indelco works with an original-equipment manufacturer that requisitions the plastic material or part, many of which are Cleveland-based, and is responsible for machining, assembling, welding and bending the items they fabricate.

Another interesting project is one that the company did for Eveready Battery Company’s Westlake, Ohio, research-and-development facility. Indelco helped Eveready convert its stainless-steel anode mixing system to plastic and standardize it throughout all of their facilities. The mixture was improved by using polyethylene tanks that did not interact with or contaminate the mix, making it cleaner and more uniform. Indelco also teamed with a process control manufacturer to fabricate double-walled tanks to hold hydrochloric acid for cleaning aerospace engine parts for Rolls-Royce that had to meet seismic specifications due to the customer’s location in California. Interestingly enough, you can hold acids in plastic, and some of them are impervious to acids that will eat through stainless steel.

Plastic is machined and welded in a process similar to metal. Indelco hires skilled metal-industry welders and machinists then trains them on plastic techniques. Because the industry is young in the United States, since the 1960s, few trade schools teach plastic techniques, and most machinists are self-taught. The company has 20 employees in Euclid and 200 more at its corporate office and 14 other facilities.

Opalich’s connection to HGR predates the existence of HGR. He went to Mayfield High School with HGR’s founder, Paul Betori, and they remain friends. Opalich says he buys and repairs tanks from HGR when a customer specifies the need, and he has bought shop equipment for his facility from HGR.

Hose Master develops manufacturing apprentice program to train machinists and welders

Hose Master products

Can you guess what Hose Master makes? Yup. Hose! But not of the garden variety. Hose Master manufactures ¼-inch to 20-inch-in-diameter metal hoses with expansion joints to transport liquids and gasses for industrial applications where rubber hose won’t work because the environment is too hot (think, steel mill), too cold, or where there is a concern that something could permeate the hose (think, chemical plants and refineries), such as in the transport of chlorine. As consumers, we have encountered their hoses in three places: the metal hose that connected the receiver to the box in a pay-phone booth in the good old days, the hose on a handheld showerhead and the hose that we can’t see beneath the dispenser at a gas station, which pumps the gas up from the underground tank.

The company got its start 34 years ago when Sam Foti, Sr., who ran a small hose company, sent his son Sammy to college for a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering at The University of Michigan, said “Let’s start a company,” and used the family’s savings to buy tool room equipment. Hose Master was born in a 17,000-square-foot building in Euclid, Ohio, then expanded to its current quarter-mile-long headquarters at 1233 E. 222nd Street because, according to Sammy, his dad “got a great price on the facility, and the City of Euclid was great to work with.”

Sammy Foti, Jr. of Hose MasterSammy says, “My father is a tool and die maker with a knack for building machines. He’s not educated as an engineer but is the best engineer I’ve known.” Sammy went on to get his M.B.A. at Case Western Reserve University and spends 80 percent of his work day doing research and development. Not only do Hose Master’s engineers design products, but they design and build the equipment to make the products, and they train machinists and welders to fabricate them. Sammy’s sister and brother manage marketing and legal activities, respectively, for the company. Sam and Sammy both work on the shop floor side by side with their employees, which include 400 people in four locations (Cleveland, Atlanta, Houston, Reno).

The Fotis have a vested interest in the state of U.S. manufacturing. Sammy says, “When I think altruistically, I want to help the U.S. develop more engineers and a manufacturing base. I am distressed at the movement toward a service orientation and away from manufacturing. Manufacturing is stressed and challenged, with the exception of the automotive industry. This is deteriorating the foundation and base of our economy. Manufacturing is the base that feeds everything. Although the field of engineering has become more popular, which I am happy to see, we aren’t doing a good job of developing people for other skilled positions, especially machinists and welders. Because of this, Hose Master has had to invent ways to develop a skilled workforce.”

The company has created a manufacturing apprenticeship program. Since it can’t find and hire enough skilled machinists, it train its own, and it hires in general labor employees then gauges who might want to learn welding. He advises, “To have adequate staffing, we must commit ourselves to training. We can’t be casual about developing future generations to replace the aging-out workforce. And, we need to keep production domestic rather than sourcing overseas products.” Because of this investment in building the manufacturing workforce, Hose Master was recognized with a 2016 Evolution of Manufacturing Award by Smart Business Magazine.

Due to their proximity to HGR and ability to tweak machines for their own application, Hose Master’s engineers have purchased a large quantity of equipment from HGR through the years for research and development purposes.

The cost of doing nothing — Can your business afford a skills gap?

black and white photo of first graduating class of Cannons of Fredon program in 1992
The Cannons of Fredon 1992 first graduating class

(Courtesy of Guest Bloggers Alyson Scott, president, and Roger Sustar, CEO, Fredon Corporation)

Oftentimes, when describing the youth manufacturing programs we at Fredon and the Alliance for Working Together (AWT) Foundation are involved with, we are faced with the same question: “How much is this going to cost?”

Well, fellow manufacturers, if you are asking that question, you have completely missed the purpose of being involved in promoting manufacturing to our young people. The question you should be asking is, “How much is it going to cost me if I don’t get involved?” It will cost you the successful integration of the next generation of machinists, engineers, welders, inspectors, etc. You will be faced with the harsh reality that is the dreaded “skills gap.”

Do we have a litany of statistics and reports to support this allegation? No. Do we have signs lining the street that say, “Machinists Wanted?” No. Fredon Corporation has never been at risk of a skills gap. Why? Because more than 20 years ago we saw the value of offering youth manufacturing programs in our facility. We have put countless hours of our time – our top machinists’ time – and too many dollars to worry about into promoting careers in manufacturing. From the birth of our Cannons of Fredon program in 1992 to creating, organizing, facilitating and promoting our AWT RoboBots program (since 2010), we have talked the talk and walked the walk.

We recognize that not every young person we work with will become a machinist (or other manufacturing-centric career seeker) and that’s okay with us! What many business owners don’t consider is this: The future growth of our industry is inarguably dependent on having a highly skilled workforce. Inarguably. But aren’t we also dependent on a well-educated consumer who knows the value behind the phrase “Made in America?”

Every dollar and every hour that is offered up to support the education and cultivation of our future employees is priceless. Do we see the return on our investment on our balance sheet? No. Do we see it in our bottom line? Absolutely!

The reward for our efforts is an amazing group of 100 employees – skilled machinists who produce precision machined products for our customers in the aerospace, defense, locomotive, nuclear energy and transportation industries. We are generationally diverse; we are made up of an equal amount of “Millennials” and “Baby Boomers.” More than 38 percent of our employees are ages 40 and under. Skills gap? Not at Fredon.

261 students in AWT RoboBots competition
261 students competed in the 2015 AWT RoboBots competition.

EHS battle robot nears completion while school plans fall Lego robotics class

partially build Euclid High School battle robot

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Bob Torrelli, Science Department Chair and Robotics Team Coach, Euclid High School)


As we have been getting closer the competition date, all of our energy has been devoted to the robot. This is a picture of the current robot’s status in preparation for the AWT RoboBots Competition on Apr. 30 at Lakeland Community College. Last weekend, we worked to assemble the robot and get it running. It was a very exciting weekend for the kids.


Most of the students who were interested in the Robotics Club have signed up for our new Lego™ robotics class that is going to be offered next year. Thanks to HGR for getting us the kits! A counselor told me that the students seemed sparked by the Robotics Club to enroll in the class, and word has spread throughout the school; so our combined efforts are already making a difference in the lives of our students and providing them with an opportunity that would not have been available otherwise. This model partnership that we share is allowing us to shape/hone students’ skills for the 21st century. We are thankful for everything that HGR has done for us, and if we could increase the number of partnerships between community and school, then the sky would be the limit.


Battle bot ready to shred



The weapon is moving so fast, it’s a blur. We wouldn’t want this thing to get near our ankles! Click the “EHS Battle Bot weapon video” link below to see and hear this battle robot. Depending on your computer’s settings and browser, the video may play in a viewer box or download to your task bar. The Euclid High School Robotics Team is installing the armor this week then taking the bot out for practice in preparation for the Alliance for Working Together’s RoboBots Competition on Apr. 30 at Lakeland Community College. HGR Industrial Surplus supports science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education in order to cultivate a skilled workforce for manufacturing careers.

EHS Battle Bot weapon video

Lake Erie Monsters make four-year-old’s wish come true

Robert Gibson

The Lake Erie Monsters, along with their NHL affiliate, the Columbus Blue Jackets, signed Robert Gibson, son of HGR employee Chris Gibson, to a one-day contract on Mar. 18 to fulfill Robert’s wish through the A Special Wish Foundation.

He was born via emergency C-section that resulted in irreversible damage to his kidneys and the death of his twin brother, Michael Charles. On the fourth day of his life, he underwent the first of 14 surgeries to date. After an unsuccessful kidney transplant and additional complications stemming from a rare form of pneumonia, he spent seven months in and out of the hospital. To this day, his immune system is challenged, and he must be monitored to ensure his day-to-day renal function.

While Gibson’s medical challenges have been profound and numerous, they are not what defines him. He is an energetic, excitable four-year-old with a passion for life. He is compassionate, loving and kind, and he loves the Lake Erie Monsters and playing and watching hockey. His wish was to become a “Lake Erie Monsters Player for a Day.” The Monsters and Blue Jackets, in conjunction with the A Special Wish Foundation, made Robert’s wish come true.

“We are so grateful and proud to be working with the Lake Erie Monsters. When they heard about Rob’s wish to be a ‘Monster,’ the entire organization really stepped up and took his wish to an entire new level,” says Jason Beudert, co-founder of the Cleveland Chapter of the A Special Wish Foundation.

Robert’s exciting weekend began on Mar. 16 when Gibson and his family met Monsters Captain Ryan Craig at 3:30 p.m. at Dick’s Sporting Goods in Crocker Park to get geared up for the big day. Craig helped outfit Gibson with new skates, equipment and a stick to make sure he was all set for his pro-hockey adventure.

Friday morning, Gibson arrived at Quicken Loans Arena at 10 a.m. for morning skate with the team and suited up for practice where he fired some shots on goal.

“Robert is as brave a kid as there is, and the determination and heart he’s shown to battle through the obstacles he’s faced is inspiring to me and to our team,” says Monsters Head Coach Jared Bednar.

After morning skate, Gibson’s signing was formally announced to local media during his 11:15 a.m. press conference with Blue Jackets Assistant General Manager Bill Zito, where he signed his one-day NHL contract. This exciting moment was streamed live on the Monsters’ Facebook page.

“We’re extremely excited to welcome Robert to our team,” says Columbus Blue Jackets Assistant General Manager Bill Zito. “He’s a courageous young man who has displayed great determination and strength, and those attributes help make him a great addition to our organization.”

When Gibson returned to The Q for Friday’s game, he entered the Lake Erie dressing room as an official Monsters player. He suited up in his own stall in the team’s locker room and prepared alongside his teammates to take the ice for player introductions and the in-arena announcement of the team’s starting lineup. Gibson then watched the game with his family.

“We are so grateful to A Special Wish and the Lake Erie Monsters for making our son smile bigger than we could have ever hoped for,” says Beth Gibson, Robert’s mother. “While he has been through a lot in his short life, we know this experience will be something he will treasure forever. We can’t say “thank you” enough, and I don’t think we will ever be able to truly articulate what this means to us and him. For him to feel this special is a parent’s dream come true.”

Self-taught Cleveland man builds monster trucks and huge robots

Tim Willis Transformer and Dog Robots

As a kid, Tim Willis, 57, rode dirt bikes then entered motocross events. This interest quickly evolved from competing with dirt bikes into motorcycles, cars, demolition derbies and trucks. He started taking home parts from a junkyard more than 36 years ago and building a car in his living room because he didn’t have a garage. This set Willis on a trajectory that led to making monster trucks then into robots because he says, “Trucks were trendy. I wanted to work on something that gets better over time with no expiration date, something no one else is doing. Robots are high-tech, and I want to get a jumpstart on technology that can go anywhere.” His friend Pete had made a Transformer out of wood. Willis told him they should make one out of metal. He watched “The Transformers” and “Real Steel” then bought a toy Transformer at Toys “R” Us in order to visualize it. He gave the toy to a kid and began making his first robot. He works organically, only making a “kiddy sketch” for proportion then starts building.

He built a 16-foot-tall, 4,000-pound Transformer robot that can walk down the street and a 12-foot-tall robotic dog. He currently is working on a two-headed dragon that is on wheels and can be towed behind a truck. It has a 20-foot wingspan (made from rack shelving bought at HGR Industrial Surplus), a body 28-feet long and a 12-foot tail. Each robot costs about $120,000 in materials plus the labor and takes six months to build. He works on them from October through March for 18 hours per day, seven days per week.

For his livelihood, he has worked in a machine shop and owned Tim’s Wild Creations, a high-tech handyman company that would put together things that a customer bought and dreamed of building. For 23 years, he freestyled as the “clown” at Monster Truck shows to keep the crowd revved up. He did 43-44 shows per six-month season in the 1980s. He was paid $5,000 per show, and that’s where his capital came from. In addition, up until four years ago, he would enter his monster trucks into races where all competitors would put in a $500 entry fee, and the winner takes all. He says, “People spend money before they’ve got it. I put money away, don’t go out, live simply and don’t waste a thing.”

Now, he only woks on robots and is demonstrates his “hobby that went wild,” at many area events, including educational seminars, MOCA Cleveland’s Everything All at Once exhibition, St. Patrick’s Day parades, the Puerto Rican Festival, the Feast of the Assumption in Little Italy, the Cuyahoga County Fair, IngenuityFest and even a demonstration in front of St. Adalbert on E. 83rd St. to keep the parish open.

Willis considers himself a self-taught mechanical engineer and a fulltime showman. He works out of a fix-it shop on wheels that he takes to his shows and a shop in his garage. He shares that he is a vegetarian, does not eat sweets, smoke, drink or gamble. He says, “Life is about constant self-discipline for total control over my mind. Everything I do, I give it my all.” To that end, he is focused to the exclusion of all else on gaining more knowledge. He explains that he will work on a robot or truck and have a problem to fix that he can’t solve; so, he will go jogging or work on something else until the solution presents itself.

To date, he has invested more than $4 million in his hobby and passion and has made 28 monster trucks and robots. He still has 19 of them. For parts, he goes to auctions and HGR Industrial Surplus. He found HGR when a friend brought him to the showroom 15 years ago. Willis was so captivated that when his friend wanted to leave, he said to go ahead that he’d find a ride home. Willis says, “I love HGR. You can get everything there. I save here. A lot of times they have new stuff that you can get for ¼ the price.” He has bought the ramps to load his robots onto the trailer and all of the electrical circuit breakers and boxes for his shop from HGR.

If you meet Willis, his happiness is infectious. He has learned through hard lessons to do what he loves. His father, two sisters and brother died at young ages from a rare heart condition attributed to Marfan Syndrome. His step father was killed in a street shooting. That’s where the name of his monster truck team came from: The Homicide Team. But, he is sensitive to the message he puts out to youth. He clarifies that The Homicide Team is mechanical science in motion and that it was named in 1994 in honor of the Cleveland Police Homicide Unit for their thorough investigations and devotion to solving his step-father’s case and to inspire students to get a good education and become business- and career-oriented so they won’t be tempted to step into the streets. He quotes Albert Einstein, “I never teach my pupils. I only attempt to provide the conditions in which they can learn.” And, because he worries about the message he puts out in the world, he got rid of the homicide reference on his trucks. He also spent $10,000 repainting them from their trademark yellow, orange and red shades of dripping blood to shades of green for the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Today, he has two robots, the Transformer and the dog, and two trucks in the parade.

Two-Headed Dragon by Tim WillisTwo-Headed Dragon Robot by Tim Willis

HGR offers scholarship to Euclid High School seniors

HGR Industrial Surplus Scholarship Application

2016 HGR Industrial Surplus STEM Scholarship

HGR Industrial Surplus Inc. annually awards a scholarship to a high school senior who has applied to an institution of higher education for the next academic year to pursue a degree or certification in a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, or Math) field. This includes – but is not limited to – the fields of engineering, engineering technology, electrical, mechanical, welding, manufacturing, or construction. This year, one student from Euclid High School will be awarded a $2,000 scholarship.

Scholarship guidelines are as follows:
1. The applicant must be active or interested in any facet of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, or Math).
2. The applicant must be in good academic standing at his or her high school.
3. The applicant should be a senior at Euclid High School.
4. The applicant must have applied to an institution of higher education or a trade or technical school for the next academic year.
5. Financial need will be considered.

Those applying for the HGR Industrial Surplus scholarship should submit the following materials when applying:
1. A completed scholarship application.
2. A 350-word autobiography (tell us about yourself, your activities, what you like, etc.).
3. A 350-word statement explaining why this scholarship is important to you, including your financial need.
4. A minimum of one letter of reference. Up to three letters of reference will be accepted. Letters of reference should be from non-family-members, such as teachers, counselors, employers, mentors, etc.
5. Scholarship Submission Deadline: All materials should be submitted online via the HGR website no later than April 15, 2016 by 11:59 EST.

To apply for the scholarship, gather your materials and then use this form to submit your application.

Customer shops HGR for his business and his hobby

Man's hands using carpentry tool

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Alan Green, adjunct professor at Cuyahoga Community College)

I’ve been a customer of HGR for several years. I‘ve bought several pieces of equipment for my wood shop. Your outlet is one of my favorite places to go to for outfitting my shop. I used to own a handyman business for several years. For the past several years, I’ve been teaching humanities at Tri-C. Woodworking is now a hobby for me. I repair my own house and build objects for my house and for my family when we need something.

What type of employer is HGR? Benefits first!

Employee benefitsWe’re starting a monthly series to let you know what it’s like to work at HGR. The first post in our series is about HGR’s benefits, which include:

  • Profit sharing: eligible after 90 days qualifying employees are eligible to share a portion of 5 percent of company profits put into a pool
  • Medical, dental and vision: effective after 90 days and premiums paid 100% by the company for employees
  • Paid time off
  • Life insurance: $25,000 at no cost to the employee
  • 401(k) retirement plan: eligible after one year
  • Voluntary short-term and long-term disability coverage
  • Training
  • Uniforms provided
  • Free lunch every Wednesday
  • Holiday party, bonus, gift card and raffle
  • Summer outing at Cedar Point, including four admission tickets per employee and lunch

Here’s what four new employees in the Marketing Department have to say about what it’s like to work at HGR:

10406861_10203951208722905_4923548192391867614_nPaula Maggio, public relations specialist, started June 2015 and says, “It’s the people who make HGR a great place to work. Everyone is valued and treated with respect. And, everyone cares about doing a great job in order to make things work well for four customers and for our coworkers. HGR’s management provides so many perks for its employees — from gift cards at Thanksgiving to a company picnic at Cedar Point. Those things let us know how much we are appreciated and ensure our loyalty.”



HGR Industrial Surplus Employee Joe PowellJoe Powell, graphic designer, started August 2015 and says, “I’m doing exactly what I want to do in my life. It’s nice to get a job doing what you love for great company. With my mechanical background I like to work in an industrial and manufacturing setting and have an understanding of the people in this field since I worked in a blue-collar role for the last 10 years.”




HGR Employee Beth HeitanenBeth Hietanen, email marketing data analyst, started August 2015 and says, “I like working here because I like the concept of what HGR’s doing. They’re taking something that’s old and bringing it back into life. People might throw these items out, but instead they’re being reused. Since I was a kid, I recycled things. I was always getting hand-me-downs because I was the youngest in my family. I am used to using what is used, and working for a company that sells these things makes sense to me.”



HGR Industrial Surplus employee Gina TabassoGina Tabasso, marketing communications specialist, started September 2015 and says, “I couldn’t be more blessed than to work for HGR. I not only love what I do but I care deeply about the company and the people I work with and for. It’s a family. Everyone is quick to praise and support one another in an environment of mutual respect. It’s great to go to work and work hard but laugh, smile and be allowed to be human while you’re doing it.”




Next month, look for a post on our values and how they are embodied by our employees in service of our customers and community.

Superelectric Pinball Parlor co-owners share passion for recycled and found-object art

Superelectric Pinball ParlorSuperelectric Pinball ParlorIMG_00821

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger David Spasic, co-owner of Superelectric LLC)

Most people know Superelectric Pinball Parlor, 6500 Detroit Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio, by our new storefront that opened in December in Gordon Square where we sell pinball machines, vintage games, and screen-printed apparel and merchandise. The roots of Superelectric, however, date back to 2003 when Ben Haehn, Nathaniel Murray, and I met in Bowling Green while studying art. Each of us had a different focus in college. Screen printing, digital art, and ceramics were our respective emphases; however, one common thread among us is our love for using recycled or found objects in our artwork.

We have been visiting HGR Industrial Surplus for years to find materials to use in our art and to generate inspiration for future pieces. Also, while working in the film industry we would often look to HGR for props and set decorations for movies and commercials. Having such a wonderful resource at your fingertips is amazing.

Last summer, when we began working on our storefront location, we would visit HGR regularly to find building materials and items that we could upcycle. On one visit I brought my uncle, a former machinist, and my father, the person who first told me about HGR. Together, we dug through the building looking for materials that could be repurposed into railing for our storefront. My uncle had never been to HGR and was in awe of the size and diversity of the goods available, as well as the low prices.

Eventually, my father stumbled on a pallet of aluminum frames. “What about these?” he called out. I came over to take a closer look and realized that it was a pallet of industrial screen printing frames. How perfect! Superelectric started as a screen printing company back in 2007 before pinball became our main focus. Reusing screen printing frames in our store would be a great homage to our roots. Explaining our purpose and limited budget, we were able to work with the staff at HGR to get a great price on the frames. After a night of playing with different orientations for the frames we landed on the current set up. The railing turned out great, and we have people ask about it all the time. It wouldn’t be possible without the friendly staff, huge selection of goods, and great prices at HGR. Thanks!

Polka museum “rolls out the barrel” for Euclid Chamber of Commerce

Polka Hall of Fame Accordions

The National Cleveland-Style Polka Hall of Fame, 605 E. 222nd St., Euclid, Ohio, is housed in a beautiful, elegant, historic building that functioned as the former city hall. Within its walls are rooms full of polka memorabilia, including lifetime achievement awards and photos, interactive audio displays with historical information, and a video viewing area. The highlight of the collection is a room dedicated to vintage accordions, many inlaid, which were owned by famous polka kings. You can read about them on wall biographies then browse the gift shop that houses the country’s largest collection of polka CDs, recipe books, records and other souvenirs. If you are interested in live polka events and festivals, there is a rack of information that you can take with you to mark your calendars.

Polka Hall of Fame Lifetime Achievement AwardsPolka Hall of Fame Gift Shop
The Polka Hall of Fame was organized in 1986, the same year The Grammy Awards introduced an award for Best Polka Recording that went to the late Euclid resident Frankie Yankovic, and, coincidentally, the same year that Cleveland was selected as the location for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It was a big year for music in Cleveland!

What differentiates “Cleveland-style” polka from other kinds of polka music? According to Joseph Valencic, founding trustee, historian and museum director with the Polka Hall of Fame, Cleveland-style was developed about 100 years ago as an American style of dance music based on folk music brought by Slovenian immigrants. The music mainstreamed after World War II when people were looking for feel-good dance music. Its heyday was 1949-1960, but it is experiencing a new boom, as well as an accompanying accordion revival. Valencic attributes this to young musicians rediscovering the music of their grandparents.

The museum is open Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and admission is free. There currently are 1,300-1,500 global members. Valencic shares that polka is a cult sound in the Netherlands, and the Dutch usually come for its annual Sausage Festival. Busses of Canadian tourists also have visited. As Valencic says, “It’s America’s good-time music, and we’re here to celebrate it.”

Polka Hall of Fame Euclid Chamber of Commerce Coffee ConversationsBut, Cleveland-style polka music obviously has become the world’s good-time music. And, on March 10, it was the music for The Euclid Chamber of Commerce’s Coffee Conversations series. Each month, the chamber has an hour meet-and-greet at a different area business so that members of the chamber and of the community can network at a venue they might otherwise not have known about or had the opportunity to visit.

Take a listen to Yankovic playing Cleveland the Polka Town and have a good time polkaing around the room. It’s as easy as 1-2-3.

Marine Corps veteran turns to making furniture to overcome PTSD

Table and chairs made from surplus

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Kazimieras “Kazy” Urbonavicius)

To start, I began my military career in the U.S. Marine Corps on active duty. During my time, I guarded the president of the United States. I was stationed in Quantico, Virginia. After I got out, I began working at Home Depot, but I still had a desire to play military; so, I joined the U.S. Army Reserve and began my numerous travels.

My last deployment was 2011 to 2012. It was a fun roller coaster ride. I was shot once and blown up twice during that tour. I am currently going through my retirement process and will be retired from the military at the end of the month. I started building furniture as a coping means. I started off with building end tables and tables out of wood and pipe fittings. Then, I purchased a welder and taught myself how to weld from reading a few books and watching online tutorials. I began to make metal furniture. I have made a series of lamps and other odds and ends.Coffee table made from recycled wood and surplus

I found out about HGR through my friend Terry. We were out drinking and eating at Oaks and Embers Tavern in Chesterland, Ohio, with our mutual friend Mark when he told me about HGR. He let me know that he purchased a huge vice from them and that it was the best thing he has ever found in his many years of finding tools. I came in one day after work, and the rest is history. This is a brilliant-minds toy store.

I currently work on the railroad as a full-time job and build furniture on the side. Eventually, I hope that I can move into a warehouse and keep building my tool collection so that I can expand my capabilities of building more intricate furniture. My company is called Tortured Creations. I hope, in the future, that I can make a non-profit company where veterans can come and have a place where they can have the tools and supplies to build their own furniture. To be able to begin a project from raw material and create a piece of work has been one of the most fulfilling accomplishments on my road in dealing with PTSD.

Lamps made from industrial surplus

Industrial Innovation Center invents sustainable products and starts up new businesses

helmet resize

Dan T. Moore, CEO and chairman of Dan T. Moore Co. that holds 19 companies, is an ageless entrepreneur and inventor who is full of ideas and vitality. He skis and motorcycles the world, which you can read about on his blog; starts successful business after business; holds about 30 patents; and currently is hobbling about on crutches and in a cast after having bones in his ankle fused from a ski accident. His plans? To ski again! And, to continue to innovate and create successful startup companies in Collinwood.

Dan T. Moore

His Cleveland Industrial Innovation Center (CiiC) at 17000 St. Clair Avenue, a former airport used by Curtiss Wright of Wright Brothers’ fame, houses nine established and startup manufacturing companies that employ approximately 350 people: Team Wendy, Soundwich, CiiC, Gem Tool, Ecowise, Metal Matrix Innovations, Rooftop Green, NatGasCar and Petfiber. The property also has available tenant space that Moore markets to encourage minority business enterprises.

While it’s easy to focus on Team Wendy, his original company which manufactures military helmets that stop high-velocity bullets for militaries and special forces around the world and which got its start as a ski-helmet manufacturer in 1997 at the intersection of Coit Road and Kirby Avenue after the skiing death of Moore’s daughter Wendy due to a traumatic brain injury, Moore is passionate about his startups. He says, “We hire people skilled in chemistry, engineering and business. We determined that focusing on starting companies is more profitable than buying them. And, I like to tinker.” The question he always seeks to answer is, “Where is there an unmet need?”

His startups include Metal Matrix Innovations that makes disc brakes out of aluminum instead of cast iron. They are lighter and ride better. Moore says they are made from a silicon carbide sponge into which they shoot aluminum. Rooftop Green manufactures “a tray that holds earth like a coffee filter,” Moore explains. “When there is a heavy rain, the soil doesn’t roll out onto the roof, and it’s less expensive for customers to purchase than traditional trays. The trays are made from recycled materials and are recyclable. They also can be used residentially on patios.” NatGasCar converts automobiles from petroleum-based gasoline into natural gas engines. Petfiber recycles Coca Cola bottles, made from polyester terephthalate (PET). They are melted and spun like cotton candy into a fiber for use in the automotive industry. All of these companies are sustainable, and Moore says he intends to run them until someone else can do a better job then he will sell them. Of his process, he says, “We get an idea, patent it, find the right people who can do it and run it.”

With all these startups, Dan needs to outfit them with the proper equipment. When asked where he gets much of it, he says, “I shop at HGR Industrial Surplus’ showroom in Euclid at least once per month. HGR is great because if I need something quick, I can grab it and plug it in by the afternoon.” He has purchased cranes; machine tools; welders; milling machines; a variety of mixing, coating and extruding equipment; lathes; an ironworker; and other machine tools. Some of these purchases also are being used in a “makers space” called “FAB Lab” that the company has created for employees to use in their leisure time on their hobby and side projects. Moore truly is an advocate of innovation.