Euclid chamber’s Feb. 9 “Coffee Connections” brings together community members


Coffee Connections at HGROn Feb. 9, 24 members of the Euclid Chamber of Commerce and the community gathered in the morning at HGR Industrial Surplus’ headquarters in Euclid, Ohio, to network over Starbuck’s coffee and Peace, Love and Little Donuts’ donuts before taking a tour of HGR’s showroom. The showroom is open to the public and includes new and used manufacturing equipment, industrial surplus, tools, machinery, construction supplies, and office equipment and supplies.

HGR buys and sells, literally, anything, and serves as a conduit between customers looking for affordable, used machinery, equipment and supplies and manufacturers hoping to recoup some portion of their initial capital investments.

The chamber’s next event will be the State of the City Address Luncheon on Feb. 24 at noon at Tizzano’s Party Center. Pre-registration is required. Its next “Coffee Connections” will be held on Mar. 8 from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. at the National Cleveland-Style Polka Hall of Fame at 605 E. 222nd Street and is free and open to the public, although pre-registration through the chamber is appreciated. This monthly event is held at a different Euclid business so that members of the community and the chamber can network while learning about area businesses and what they do.


HGR’s internal departments buy and sell industrial surplus


How it all happens:

  1. The inbound lead-generation process to find items to buy starts with the Call Center in Austin, Texas, which makes an average of 155 cold calls per person per day from leads in our database and lists that we purchase. Sometimes, a customer will call HGR’s Buy Department or a lead will come in through our website, a vendor or a referral.
  2. The qualified leads go to the buyers who contact the customer to set up an inspection (in person or via photos).
  3. The buyer then decides whether to offer a bid to the customer or pass on the item(s).
  4. If the buyer decides to offer, he puts the photos and write up into a folder for the Buy Department. That team types up the deal and composes an offer.
  5. The bidding supervisor in the Buy Department looks for similar items in our system or online then assigns a retail price and a bid price at 1/3 retail to allow for shipping and profit margin. In addition, this person adds notes with a best- or worst-case retail price range.
  6. The buyer can change these numbers based on his knowledge of the customer then completes the bid and sends an email to the customer.
  7. Bid negotiations ensue. If the offer is accepted, the Buy Department creates a P.O. The goal is $38,000-40,000/day in P.O.s. Accounting will cut the check the same day and send it out via UPS.
  8. The Shipping Department will schedule the transportation of the item to HGR’s showroom.
  9. When it arrives, the Receiving Department unloads the trucks, lines up the items, unwraps/unpackages/uncrates the item, cleans it and puts it on a pallet if one is needed. Then, Receiving moves the item to the new arrivals area.
  10. The item(s) then go to the Pricing and Inventory group within the Buy Department. That team prices, photographs, tags, labels and gathers information about the item. The information is entered by a clerk and data entry into the website. At this point, the item is live and available for purchase. Some items are purchased online immediately and never make it onto the showroom floor.
  11. The Showroom Department organizes the showroom floor and makes room for incoming items then moves the items from the new arrivals area to the proper aisle on the showroom floor. An item usually does not spend more than an average of six months on the floor before being sold or marked for scrap, but it depends on the cost of the item, the specialty/desirability and the current cost of scrap. Showroom also pulls orders and loads the items for the customers or takes them to Shipping after they have been purchased. Showroom also unloads returned items.
  12. From the day an item is sold, the customer has 30 days to pay and 45 days to move it. Our Shipping Department also can schedule pickup and delivery of purchased items for the customer.
  13. Some items never make it to the showroom, not because they are sold as soon as they are listed, but because HGR’s eBay Department takes the items to list. They sell approximately 45-50 items per day at an average of $120/item. All items are listed with a starting bid of $3.99 and must weigh under 150 pounds. Of the items listed, only about five per week do not sell.
  14. Approximately 12 salespeople work in the Sales Department. They are responsible for 85 percent of HGR’s sales. They handle phoned-in inquiries, walk-ins and website purchase requests. For seven days after the item is received, they are not able to discount the item, but they can document an offer and set a task to call the customer back when we are able to meet his/her price. Since we do not have an accounts receivable department, Sales is responsible for collecting payment on sold items. The salespeople continue to follow up with the customer to encourage pickup. Many of our customers are dealers who repair and resell equipment, and 15 to 20 percent of our customers are outside of the U.S.
  15. Items from Receiving, Ebay or Showroom that do not sell become the property of the Scrap Department. This team will break them down (aluminum, stainless, gold leaf, sheet metal, copper, circuit boards, etc.), drain the oil and clean the items in order to get more money from the scrapyards. When the items are stripped, they are taken to bins outside the loading bays to await removal.
  16. Other individuals and departments support this buy-and-sell pipeline. Through the efforts of Marketing, additional leads are generated, and brand is enhanced. Human Resources brings in and supports the employees who get the work done. Maintenance takes care of the team’s building, grounds and physical needs. Safety ensures we meet federal and state requirements by minimizing the risk of accident and injury to employees and customers. The CFO, controller and finance team handle leases, loans, investments, taxes, ERP Systems, technology, reporting, vendor management and many of the back-office ops that keep us running like a well-oiled machine.

HGR unveils Manufacturing Resource Center


On Feb. 8, HGR Industrial Surplus and The Manufacturing Advocacy & Growth Network (MAGNET) opened a STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, mathematics) resource center in HGR’s customer lounge at 20001 Euclid Ave., Euclid, Ohio.

The center houses pamphlets, handouts, books and periodicals that provide information about educational and manufacturing opportunities, as well as information about MAGNET’s services and programming. HGR also will create an online center with links to these and other resources.

Some of the organizations that have information available in the center include: Fabricators & Manufacturers Association, International; National Association of Manufacturers; the five Ohio regional representatives of the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MAGNET, TechSolve, CIFT, PolymerOhio, APEG and FastLane); local colleges and universities with industrial, technical and manufacturing courses and programs; Ingenuity Cleveland; and the Nickel Plate Historical & Technical Society.

If you have information to contribute, please contact Gina Tabasso, marketing communications specialist, at


Euclid High School battle bot takes shape with help from Home Depot

Battle bot frame assembly

Courtesy of Maurice Kirkland, store manager at Home Depot, 877 E. 200th Street, Euclid, Ohio, and HGR Industrial Surplus, the Euclid High School Robotics Team now has all the tools it needs to finish building its competition battle robot that will go head to head with other local schools on Apr. 30 at Lakeland Community College. Home Depot donated $75 of community coupons for the team to use toward the purchase of tools in the store; HGR covered the rest.

With the funds, the team has purchased: a cordless drill with drill bits, screwdriver sets, Allen key sets, a toolbox, a reciprocating saw, a center punch, metal files, needle-nose pliers, channellocks, tin snips and locking pliers.

To date, the team has finished the frame and has about 90 percent of the pieces that go inside the robot. The frame is about six pounds, which the team plans to reduce.  The rest of the parts, without the weapon, come to about seven pounds. According to Bob Torrelli, Physics Department chair, “Since there is a 15-pound limit, the robot needs to go on a diet because the weapon is going to be more than two pounds.” SC Industries is machining the weapon, while Fredon machines the frame.

Torrelli says, “The excitement is growing, and the students have set a goal to have the robot fully assembled with the weapon by Mar. 1.  This will allow them almost two months to fine tune the robot before the competition.”

Professional development drives more effective communication

HGR employees

(courtesy of Guest Blogger Matt Williams, chief marketing officer, HGR Industrial Surplus)

Last summer, I was approached by Tina Dick, HGR’s human resources manager, about the possibility of teaching a communications course for a number of our line supervisors. Management felt that improving communications in our back-of-the-house departments could have a positive impact on employee retention and profitability, and Tina saw an opportunity to put my background as an educator to use to further this objective.

As a former college professor and high school teacher, I have taught oral communication, public speaking, and a variety of life-skills courses through the years. Of course, the key in any teaching role is to understand your audience and meet them where they are; so, I spent quite a bit of time during the eight sessions getting to know the guys who were taking the course. We discussed difficulties that they were having with communicating effectively to their subordinates, and I gathered quite a bit of valuable feedback that helped me to shape the course. Topics that we covered during the eight weeks included: active listening, feedback, nonverbal communication, giving direction effectively, and offering respect in anticipation of receiving respect in return.

At the end of the eight sessions, each supervisor received a certificate signifying his completion of the course. It was clear from their involvement and participation that they appreciated being included in this opportunity. It was critical to approach the course as an opportunity for professional development in order to gain buy-in from the supervisors. As professionals, we all have areas where we can improve our performance. Such continuous improvement drives business growth, and it is something that we should all strive for. It was deeply rewarding to see these HGR employees develop as individuals and employees.

“Made in Collinwood” branding initiative supports area makers

Jerry Schmidt, Waterloo 7 Studio and Gallery
Jerry Schmidt, Waterloo 7 Studio and Gallery

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Joe Barbaree, business development specialist, Northeast Shores Development Corporation)

You might know about North Collinwood’s vibrant arts community, but have you met the neighborhood’s makers?

The makers movement is a marriage of art, craft, technology and small-scale entrepreneurship that is redefining the world of start-up companies. During the past decade of Northeast Shores Development Corporation’s creative placemaking and attracting artists to North Collinwood, a considerable number of makers moved to and began working in the neighborhood. Some makers have been here for decades.

From old-world sausage to limited-edition prints to graphic design and even world-renowned sails, there are small businesses making things by hand every day in North Collinwood.

Unfortunately, in the Venn diagram of makers and artists, only those makers who blended into the arts world were really connected with Northeast Shores’ support services and marketing vehicles because of the organization’s heavy engagement with the arts. Maker Venn Diagram

Made in Collinwood – the newest program from Northeast Shores – rose out of the realization that the incredible number of makers in the neighborhood went unrecognized and missed opportunities to better brand themselves, connect with resources and scale their enterprises. Made in Collinwood aims to address these issues, revitalize the neighborhood’s commercial corridors, support makers and underscore these unique businesses.

The program is still in the early stages, but initial research is leading to sweeping recommendations that will strengthen North Collinwood’s maker network.

On Thursday, Jan. 21, Northeast Shores hosted a gathering for makers and support partners at the Collinwood Recreation Center to present research results from Consultant Leslie Schaller of the Appalachian Center for Economic Networks. Beginning in November 2015, Schaller interviewed neighborhood makers, retailers and entrepreneurs to gather their marketing insights and small-business challenges. Along the way, local photographer Bridget Caswell photographed makers to accompany the brand campaign and to share professional photographs with them for their own marketing efforts.

Recommendations from the meeting include creating a shared Made in Collinwood brand for makers, building a stronger network between makers and retailers, developing peer-to-peer education events, establishing micro-business trainings, and leveraging financial resources for business start-up and expansion.

Once the final report is completed, Northeast Shores will convene working groups of makers to guide the implementation of these recommendations.

If you are a maker or supporter provider who wants to be involved with Made in Collinwood, please contact Joe Barbaree, business development specialist at Northeast Shores at 216-481-7660 or

Archies' Bakery
Archie’s Bakery, Lakeshore Boulevard

(photos courtesy of Bridget Caswell Photography)

Cuyahoga Valley Career Center opens robotics and manufacturing technology center


On Jan. 14, Lt. Governor Mary Taylor assisted the Cuyahoga Valley Career Center (CVCC) Superintendent Dr. Celena Roebuck with the ribbon cutting and grand opening of its state-of-the-art Robotic and Advanced Manufacturing Technology Education Collaborative (RAMTEC) Center. Attendees to the ribbon cutting ceremony and open house entered through the RAMTEC Mobile Training Unit, a 26-foot trailer that the school will use to take its training programs on the road. Business partners were on hand to display their products, including Rockwell Automation, Buckeye Educational Systems, eduFACTOR, GPD Group, Lincoln Electric, Lorain County Community College, MAGNET, Mastercam, Parker Hannifin, RAF Automation, and Swagelok.

The 6,700 square-foot facility will assist CVCC in addressing the advanced manufacturing and engineering skills gap by preparing high school and adult students for careers in these fields. The facility houses robotic arms, automated welders, pneumatic and hydraulic training units, and programmable logic controllers. All of these are part of building a world-class metal fabrication and state-of-the art computer numeric control (CNC) training center. According to CVCC Superintendent Dr. Celena Roebuck, “RAMTEC will benefit high school students and adult education students, will be used to enhance our incumbent workers’ training programs, and also will allow us to expand the career services we provide to our eight associate districts. As part of a statewide initiative focused on advanced manufacturing, we can expand our influence and economic impact beyond the immediate CVCC area. It is exciting to see the resurgence of manufacturing in Northeast Ohio and to know that CVCC continues to play an integral role in that process.”

Recently, the Ohio Means Job website indicated that 357 full-time CNC jobs are vacant within a 30-mile radius of CVCC. When you broaden that search word to “manufacturing” rather than CNC there are more than 3,000 full-time vacancies listed within a 30-mile radius of CVCC.

Cuyahoga Valley Career Center serves the public school districts of Brecksville-Broadview Heights, Cuyahoga Heights, Garfield Heights, Independence, Nordonia Hills, North Royalton, Revere, and Twinsburg. Student workshops and Adult Education courses are open and available to all residents of Northeast Ohio. For more information on training programs in advanced manufacturing, which will prepare graduates for the FANUC Basic Control Certification, and in hydraulic systems call the school at (440) 746-8230 or review the website.

RAMTEC image

King Precision Solutions outfits facility with surplus from HGR

Break room

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Todd King, president of King Precision Solutions in Erie, Pennsylvania)

King Precision Solutions designs and builds injection mold plastic parts. We have a couple of product lines that we developed: the Kingpin Shallow Water Anchor and the TV Shield Protective Enclosure.

I found HGR through an older gentleman who took me in under his wing. He was buying machinery for his own shop. I saw the great deals he was getting, and I did the same.

We have been purchasing equipment from HGR for 20 years, and I would say 90 percent of the equipment in our facility is from HGR – from the tile and paint on the floor to the lighting on the ceiling, and, of course, everything in between.

Our growth has been expedited due to the robotics and other high-end equipment that we purchased at a discount of 70 percent lower than new. With this equipment in place, we gained opportunities that we would have never had a chance to procure.

The photos show a CNC machine purchased and in operation and a robot that we integrated for hydro-dipping parts. The overhead door and glass door also are from HGR. The first pic shows our break area. Everything in that pic was bought from HGR and refurbished, including the cabinets, sinks and tile.

CNC machine Hydro Dippng parts Robot Overhead door


Ecuadoran customer visits HGR showroom last week

fransisco_solo ecuador

For years, Francisco D’Amore worked with his family’s business and specialized in niche markets. At that business, he learned of HGR Industrial Surplus since the company had bought used equipment from HGR since it opened. D’Amore spun off his business, Impormore, and has been buying from HGR for approximately nine years.  He ships three to four, 40-foot-high cube containers per year back to Cuenca, Equador. He purchases mostly metalworking and fabrication equipment that he fixes for resale.


Jergens Inc. commits to workforce development and Collinwood


Founded in 1942, Jergens Inc. is a tooling component manufacturer located in Cleveland’s Collinwood Neighborhood. Christy Schron dreamed of having his own machine shop with his son Jack. Christy and Jack first operated the business in a rented a garage on East 152nd Street. Soon, they outgrew the space, and Jergens’ found a new home on East 163rd off of St. Clair. In the midst of World War II, business was booming, and it was difficult to find a qualified workforce. Jergens began holding training classes in the shop every evening to keep up production and support the war effort.

 Business continued to grow as Jergens moved to its third Collinwood location on Nottingham Road. In 1999, Jergens had again outgrown its facility and relocated to its current home on South Waterloo on the site of the former Collinwood Yards. The company continues to honor this legacy in its lobby that is decorated with railroad artifacts and antiques.

 Jergens has been led since 1987 by its third generation of Schrons, with Jack Schron, Jr., currently at the helm as president. The family has demonstrated a commitment to keeping Jergens’ facilities in the City of Cleveland and maintaining jobs in Ohio. Jergens’ has even partnered with the Cuyahoga East Vocational Education Consortium (CEVEC) in a pilot program in which high school students use Jergens as their classroom for the entire year. The program has a full-time teacher who works with students at the Jergens’ facility by introducing them to careers in manufacturing and helping prepare them to enter the workforce.

 There currently are six divisions/subsidiaries under the Jergens, Inc. umbrella: Jergens Tooling Component Division (TCD), Jergens Industrial Supply (JIS), Assembly Systems Group (ASG), ACME Industrial Company, Jergens Shanghai, and Jergens India. TCD focuses on lean manufacturing solutions in three areas: work holding solutions, lifting solutions, and specialty fasteners. TCD’s product line-up includes fasteners, hoist rings, Kwik-Lok pins, and Ball-Lock mounting systems. JIS offers a full line of cutting tools, carbide, and other tool inserts, coolants, abrasives, drills, and other industrial supplies. ASG is a supplier of products for threaded fastener assembly, including torque-controlled electric screwdrivers, automation products, and production aides. ACME manufactures threaded inserts and bushings. Jergens’ also has international sales offices in Shanghai, China, and Mumbai, India.

Jergens always is accepting applications from CNC machinists and workers with experience in skilled manufacturing.


Ingenuity Cleveland bridges the creative and manufacturing communities

Ingenuity blog photo

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Annie Weiss, Ingenuity Cleveland)

Ingenuity formed as an organization in 2004 to create a destination event in Cleveland, IngenuityFest, to showcase our region’s deep artistic and cultural resources and explore the space where humans and technology intersect. Conceived as a “moveable feast,” IngenuityFest transforms underused and unknown spaces into highly visible performance and exhibition venues, sparking renewed interest in these locations and bringing audiences to the city’s core. In 2011, it embarked on a mission to become a year-round organization. Since then, it added two annual programs: Bal Ingénieux and the Cleveland Mini Maker Faire, an ongoing program: IngenuityLabs.

Now, Ingenuity has launched a new series – Agents of Ingenuity – based on the success of the pilot Engines of Ingenuity Summit at the 2014 IngenuityFest. The 2014 summit featured panel conversations around gaming, audience retention, intellectual property, and hacking health, along with a workshop on “the Art of the Pitch.” Agents of Ingenuity is a conversation series that brings together individuals from the creative community, big business, small start-ups, and academia to discuss topics that highlight Cleveland’s unique opportunities as a globally competitive city for innovation and manufacturing. Structured as unlikely conversations between these representatives, our program will continue to grow with evening cocktail discussions, social hacks and a larger Agents of Ingenuity Summit (stay tuned for this one!).

This past November, Ingenuity hosted its first two live conversations at the Bop Stop and featured Jack Schron (Jergens), Ethan Karp (MAGNET), Jeff Epstein (Health-Tech Corridor) and Erika Anthony (Cleveland Neighborhood Progress). The intimate setting allowed for great audience interaction; so, be sure to mark your calendars for the 3rd Thursday of the month as we announce additional live conversations there! Tickets are $15 per conversation and include a drink ticket.

As part of our mission to engender the flow of ideas, we complement our live conversations with recorded podcasts, creating a year-round network of the people driving our region forward. We work in partnership with Design Lab Early College High School, a STEM and project-based learning institution, as part of an emerging program in recording technology for students. The shows feature interviews with innovators based in Northeast Ohio plus ingenious representatives from beyond. Content promotes our sponsors and local businesses and ties our community together through a permanent archive.

To stay up to date on the program, or to check out our current podcasts be sure to visit our website.

Self-labeled “design scientist” uses surplus to build chopper

Krager bike

(photo courtesy of Michael Lichter Photography)

As a child, Josh Krager of Eye Spy Designs was obsessed with finding out how things worked. He not only disassembled small machinery items, he even put them back together. As a teen, He enjoyed reading parts and tool catalogs when not working at a small engine repair shop. Josh befriended a welder who taught him the trade, and Josh perfected his skill. He is an engineer, welder and fabricator by trade but a Mad Scientist by nature who envisions one-of-a-kind designs by using imagination, engineering and vintage finds to create artistic and useful inventions. He says, “I always look at what something can do, not what it does. Most of my inspiration comes from just thinking that I can do it a better or a different way.”

He has taken a Dodge Durango daily driver and turned it into a 10-wheeled mud truck on a one-ton chassis, built National Hot Rod Association drag car and drag bike chassis from scratch, and the build list goes on and on until we get to his most recent and fantastic creation.

It all started in March 2014, while cleaning his 6,000-square-foot shop. He stood looking at a motor, housed 15 feet up on pallet racking and mixed in with mud truck parts. This wasn’t just any motor. It was a 1968 Mercedes 2.1L diesel power plant with 23,000 actual kilometers. He pulled it down and placed it on his workbench where it sat for four weeks.

He started to think, “What can I do with this engine?” Friends would come over and ask, “What are you going to do with that engine?” After hearing the same question over and over, just to shut his friends up, he said he was going to build a motorcycle. Well, that shut them up, except for one longtime friend. He bet Josh that he couldn’t build a bike with that engine and finish the project for Geneva-On-The-Lake’s, Sept. 3, 2014 Thunder on the Strip Bike Rally. Lesson learned? Don’t bet against Josh. You will lose.

For tech geeks, makers, engineers and other design scientists, here are the specs:

Frame: Fifteen giant ironworker wrenches and round tubing

Front wheel: a Harley Davidson Road King spoked wheel and tire

Rear wheel: a Harley Davidson Reproduction Pie Crust Drag slick

(He fabricated the forks in a girder style that uses two air shocks to raise and lower the front with an air compressor mounted under the seat. The rear end is rigid; so, to maximize ride comfort, a suspension was used under the seat.)

Transmission: Along with the engine came the original ’68 Mercedes manual, four-speed transmission with reverse coupled to an industrial-style, right angle, 1:1 ratio gear box linked with a #50 chain.

Cooling system: Honda Aspencade with electric fan and Ford F350 heater core.

Overflow for the cooling system: a vintage brass fire extinguisher

Front brake: stock Harley Davidson

Rear brake: stock Harley Davidson disc brake

(Braided stainless brake lines tied it all together.)

Clutch: Honda Goldwing master cylinder, Toyota Land Cruiser slave cylinder and stock Mercedes single disc with a nickel copper clutch line

Electrical system: 60-amp screw-in house fuse with vintage cloth-covered wiring leading to vintage knife switches for headlamp, turn signals and air system controls

Front turn signals: 1930’s glass doorknobs

Rear brake and turn signals: vintage Power Pole insulators. All are LED illuminated.

Fuel tank: U.S. military Jerry can that is secured with a manure spreader chain

Fuel lines: custom-formed nickel-copper tubing

Foot boards: vintage 1950’s water skis

Horn and cheesy siren: donated by his best friend

Rear fender: inverted 1950 Ford 8N tractor fenders

Front fender: old-school posthole digger

Chin fairing: an old cultivator plow blade

Handle bars: right-angle ironworker spud wrenches

Rearview mirror: Moon Eyes Peep Mirror

Saddle: vintage horse saddle

Rear rack: an old iron fence

Where did he get all the “stuff” to make this fabulous creation? Garage and barn sales, auctions, antique stores, picking his friends’ and family members’ junk piles, donations left at the shop door, eBay, Craigslist, swap meets, and HGR Industrial Surplus’ showroom. Krager says, “I discovered HGR years ago when I used to shop at a competitor and HGR’s prices were much better. I have been shopping at HGR since the day they opened their doors. I have purchased everything from office furniture to surface grinders and milling machines. I even bought a very large off-road crane. The bike does have some electrical items and a few driveline pieces that I purchased from HGR. I am currently working on another bike similar to this one and three Rat Rod semis for which we’ve already purchased a few items for from HGR.”

The bike took slightly more than four months but less than 250 hours to build, weighs 1,312 pounds, can cruise up to 55 mph and gets 40 mpg. It is a street-legal, titled Ohio motor vehicle. If you see Josh out on the road, make sure to give him a thumbs up.

Welcome to the Makers Movement

maker manifesto

According to Wikipedia, the maker culture is a technology-based extension of the DIY culture that intersects with the hacker culture. Makers’ interests include engineering-oriented pursuits, such as, 3D printing, electronics and robotics, as well as metalworking, woodworking, and traditional arts and crafts with an emphasis on informal, shared learning through doing. Many products focus on health, sustainability (upcycling) and local culture.

The maker culture, in contrast to the consumer culture, has turned into a movement with its own manifesto and market ecosystem. Many makers sell their creations on Etsy, eBay and Craigslist. Dale Dougherty, who launched MAKE Magazine in 2005, was the catalyst for the movement. He also is the creator of Maker Faire and CEO of Maker Media. Here’s an interesting TED Talk that he gave about the maker culture.

In the Cleveland area, many makers come to HGR Industrial Surplus to shop the showroom for used, low-cost technology in order to reuse it for their projects. Look through our blog for recent posts on Larry Fielder, Jerry Schmidt and Matt Hummel’s projects.

2015 HGR Manufacturing Scholarship recipient chooses career in welding

Jonathan Berkel

With the manufacturing industry in need of skilled labor, it is important to encourage careers in manufacturing. With that in mind, HGR Industrial Surplus created a $2,000 scholarship in 2013 to assist high school seniors and college students with a minimum 2.5 GPA who are planning to attend or are enrolled in a credit-based certificate, associate’s, bachelor’s or master’s degree in engineering, engineering technology, electrical, mechanical, welding, manufacturing or construction; and, in 2013, it originally was opened to students attending Lorain Community College, Lakeland Community College and Cuyahoga Community College. In 2014, Cleveland State University and Case Western Reserve University were added to the list. Information on the 2016 scholarship will be announced shortly.

The 2015 winner, Jonathan Berkel, is a welding student at Lorain County Community College. We talked with him to learn a little bit more about his chosen career in welding.

How did you hear about the scholarship? One of my counselors at the joint vocational school in my welding class gave me an application because I was the only one thinking about going to college.

What are your future educational plans? I am at Lorain County Community College until spring 2016 taking general electives and liberal education requirements before going to Ohio State University in fall. I will be majoring in welding engineering, and after three years I can work at Lincoln Electric or Miller Electric, travel and fix companies’ problems. I’m more of a hands-on person and want to weld and get my hands into the project instead of just design.

Did you know anything about HGR before applying? After I got the email saying that I won, I went on the website to learn about HGR.

What were your first thoughts when you found out you had won? When I read the email I took a screen shot of it and sent it to my father who is a truck driver and was on the road. He said, “Cool, now I don’t have to pay for your first semester.”

Why did you choose welding as a career? It all started back in 2011. I’ve been drag racing at Norwalk Raceway Park since I was eight and was always fascinated with how the car was built. In 2011, I went to my buddy’s shop in Vermillion, and he let me work with his TIG motor for seven hours. I fell in love with it.

Are you currently working? I am going to school full time but I have a part-time job as a fabricator at a pattern shop for foundry molds.

What are your thoughts on manufacturing? I would encourage people to have careers in manufacturing because there’s a wide parameter, and you could go anywhere from marketing all the way to being an ironworker. There are a lot of opportunities.

HGR’s surplus used on multiple film sets


(photo courtesy of NASA)

Through the years, a number of film set decorators have purchased items from HGR’s showroom for use on the sets of films being shot in Cleveland, including Captain America and The Avengers. One designer stumbled across HGR about four years ago while trying to track down electrical waste (aka computers) for use on a set.

If you carefully watch the 2011 Avengers film, you can see 9,385 pounds of equipment, including a Sercem automation winder, a welding station enclosure, five germfree S/S fume hoods, an air pressure control, an assembly station, and a neat inspection machine purchased from HGR in two memorable scenes:

  • At the beginning, Black Widow is fighting off Russian mobsters and tangles one with chain hoists. Yep, the hoists came from HGR. And, the opening scenes were shot at the Space Power Facility at NASA Glenn’s Plum Brook Station in Sandusky, Ohio (pictured above)
  • In another scene in Loki’s lair, Dr. Erik Selvig, played by Stellan Skarsgard, and his minions are working with machinery on the Tesseract. The machinery, originally from a pill factory, was purchased from HGR. This scene was shot under an unfinished transit bridge in Cleveland.

Ever wonder what happens with the items used on a film set after the movie has been finished? The film company containers it and ships it to Los Angeles then keeps it in storage for six months to a year in case it needs to reshoot scenes. After that, it is scrapped, sold to a company such as HGR, or the film company has a huge studio sale, often advertised on Craigslist. Who’s up for a trip to L.A.? If not, you always can come to HGR’s showroom to see the stuff from which science fiction/fantasy films are made.

Cleveland’s East Side residents served by Kosher Food Pantry

food drive

For the past four or five years, at HGR’s Euclid, Ohio, holiday party employees have brought nonperishable food items to donate to The Greater Cleveland Food Bank, which serves Cuyahoga, Ashtabula, Geauga, Lake, Ashland and Richland counties. Each department is given a stipend to go shopping and create a raffle basket for the party. Every employee is given one ticket. For each food item the employee donates, he or she gets an extra raffle tickets. It becomes a friendly competition to see who can donate the most items. Some employees have donated more than 100 items. Each year, due to their generosity, HGR has been able to donate 800 to 1,000 pounds of food.

This food is distributed by The Greater Cleveland Food Bank to more than 750 local food pantries, hot meal programs, shelters, mobile pantries, programs for the elderly and other nonprofit agencies who then distribute it to the communities they serve. Kosher Food Pantry, located in South Euclid, Ohio, is one such charity that distributes more fresh produce than any other pantry in the system.

More than 40 years ago, Rabbi Zalmen and Shulamit Kazen started a food bank and soup kitchen to help new immigrants with basic needs. Today, their daughter Devorah Alevsky has expanded this humanitarian effort to include deliveries to shut-ins, four weekly satellite distribution centers, a walk-in pantry, and a monthly outdoor produce market. From a humble facility housed in a dated synagogue in South Euclid, they serve more than 3,500 people each month.

Every week, needy individuals and families throughout Cuyahoga and Lake counties, including Cleveland Heights, South Euclid, University Heights, East Cleveland, Beachwood and Wickliffe receive more than 10,800 pounds of food. All who qualify are welcomed.

Julie Diamond Food Bank“At Kosher Food Pantry, we see firsthand the growing number of struggling families who have come to rely on us for supplemental and nutritional fruits, vegetables, dry goods and dairy products to feed their families,” says Alevsky. “On a shoestring budget we are working in overdrive to meet the need of all who call on us.” This outpouring of goodwill is accomplished on a budget of $300,000, with four part-time paid staffers and 100 volunteers.

Enter Ben Katz. For five years, his wife has gone to the pantry to volunteer, and he has donated financial support. But, this year he was invited to visit. When he did, he was put to work unloading bags and boxes of food. He said that it was hard work for a fit man. After moving 300 pounds of pickles, he jokes, “I never want to see a jar of pickles again.” He explains that items not on skids have to be carried by hand. They can fit two skids inside and have three outside the building, which they have to manually unpack. In the past, these were about 50 feet from the door. To solve this problem and make this back-breaking work easier on volunteers, Katz purchased a rolling accordion conveyor and a pallet jack from HGR Industrial Surplus and donated them to the pantry. Now, volunteers can move the pallets to the door and more easily unload them from the door.

Katz works for Cedar Brook Financial Partners and is in the benefits business. He came to HGR’s Euclid office to meet with leadership on two past occasions since one of the owners is a client of his firm; so, he was familiar with the showroom. When he was trying to find a solution for the pantry, he called and asked if we had items that could solve their challenge. He says that he knew HGR probably would have it if it is an industrial product. “It’s a nice way two places can work together to do some good for someone else,” he states.

Food Bank LogoTo volunteer or donate, please call 216-382-7202 or visit

Community development corporations serve Collinwood

Beachland Ballroom

Collinwood originally was a village within Euclid Township, but it was annexed by the City of Cleveland in 1910. The neighborhood was built so manufacturing and railroad workers could walk home. Now, there are 17,000 people living in North Collinwood with 220 businesses, 195 of which are locally owned.

So, where does a community development corporation (CDC) come into the picture, and what role does it play? A CDC is a not-for-profit organization that promotes and supports community development through community programs, housing and real estate development, and small business support.

Collinwood is lucky enough to have two CDCs serving the neighborhood: Northeast Shores Development Corporation in North Collinwood and Collinwood-Nottingham Development Corporation serving South Collinwood.

Northeast Shores Development Corporation serves North Collinwood, the primarily residential area between East 140rd Street to the west, East 185th Street to the northeast, Lake Erie to the north, the Collinwood Railroad Yards and tracks to the south. A few facts about North Collinwood:

  • In the Waterloo Arts District, there was a 45-percent vacancy a few years ago with only four vacancies now due in large part to the Welcome to Collinwood initiative.
  • There’s a new effort to attract makers to East 185th through the Made in Collinwood initiative being unveiled in 2016 (stay tuned for further information). The CDC currently is interviewing 44 makers in the area and will do a public presentation of the interview report results in the first quarter.
  • There are 20-25 makers currently on East 185th Street, including a salsa producer, a soap maker, a vintner, an audio engineering production company, a hat maker, a dressmaker, an awards and trophies company, a newspaper publisher, and a digital designer.
  • A new video and music production facility is being built in the former LaSalle Theater with a scheduled early 2016 groundbreaking.
  • The CDC has a desire to connect makers with manufacturing facilities who can manufacture or package the items being created by the makers or for job opportunities for skilled production people.
  • Northeast Shores is funded through taxes, real estate transactions and philanthropy.

Collinwood-Nottingham Development Corporation serves South Collinwood, the primarily industrial area between East 134th Street on the west, Euclid Creek to the east, the Collinwood Railroad Yards and tracks to the north, and Woodworth Avenue to the southwest and Roseland Avenue to the Southeast.


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