Garrison Steel said it will invest $2.5 million to upgrade the fabrication equipment in its Pell City facility, allowing it to have the latest high-tech steel fabrication equipment available.
“This will raise our capacity by approximately 30 percent,” said President Jason Garrison. “The new equipment will allow us to make our process safer and more efficient and allow us to hopefully gain market share.”
The company’s $2.5 million investment – which landed Garrison Steel on the Birmingham Business Alliance’s New and Expanding Industry List from 2018 – went toward an upgrade of the equipment Garrison Steel has used for 30 years, which was not efficient and hindered the company from raising its capacity for future growth.
“This new equipment is state of the art and much faster and more efficient,” Garrison said.
The company, which employs 160 and is in its third generation of Garrison ownership, originally began in 1992 as a steel erecting company. In 2004, it added the steel fabricating component to its business, making it one of the few companies that provide erecting and fabricating under the same roof. Upon its acquisition of a fabricating facility in Pell City in 2004, the company relocated from Birmingham to St. Clair County.
The company also has an arm that fabricates OEM components for wastewater and pulp paper and is home to Ironworker Skills Institute, a 501(c)3 skills training center, which has trained high school students and created 25 new industry employees over the last three years.
“It was my father’s vision to create a training facility and he passed that vision on to me,” Garrison said. “It’s growing like wildfire.”
Notable projects Garrison Steel has worked on across Birmingham include Regions Field, the Lyric Theatre, Children’s of Alabama and Grandview Medical Center. Though continued growth is important and necessary to the company, what matters most is the quality of the work, Garrison said.
“Rapid growth isn’t our vision,” he said. “Our vision is to be the highest quality fabricator and erector in the Southeast. If we focus on quality and safety, we’ll go where the market takes us.”
Though the company has worked all over the country in its 27 years of operation, back home is where Garrison said he most likes doing business.
“We find the Alabama and Birmingham market most favorable because of the type of people we get to deal with when performing projects at home,” Garrison said. “A handshake still means something, and people seem to treat each other with a greater level of respect here. I’d rather work in the Birmingham area and the state of Alabama more than any other place.”