Living the STRESS FREE Life!

Stress!  We all deal with it – in one form or another – in varying degrees.  But what is stress?  Scientifically “stress” can be explained as a nervous system response that is built into all of us.  Everyone faces various circumstance through life that can cause stress, but unfortunately many of us create our own stress.  For example, researchers conclude that 1 out of 2 people MUST check their email or social media before going to bed, and many of those same people wake up in the middle of the night to check it.  That’s what I would call “electronic intrusion”.  Someone once said, “electronics are a wonderful servant, but a terrible master.”  I agree!

So how can we deal with stress?  Maybe we can’t fully eliminate it, but perhaps we can better equip ourselves to handle it, or even minimize the effects it has on us mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually.  Consider these tips…

10 Essentials to Having a Stress Free/Peaceful Life…

  1. Breathe Deeply

    A few slow deep breaths when feeling stress can be very helpful, and will lower your heart rate.

  2. Drink Plenty of Water

    – Some experts recommend drinking at least half your body weight in ounces each day.

  3. Sleep Restfully

    – Get the proper amount of uninterrupted sleep for you, we’re all different.

  4. Eat Nutritiously

    – A balanced diet is important, give your body the best chance at being healthy.

  5. Enjoy Activities

    – Have fun, lighten up, laugh, enjoy life, get out once in awhile.

  6. Give & Receive Love

    – We all need love and we all have love to give, it’s who we are.

  7. Be Forgiving

    – Holding unforgiveness is like drinking poison and expecting it to hurt the other person.

  8. Practice Gratitude

    – “The seeds of depression cannot take root in a grateful heart.” – Andy Andrews

  9. Develop Acceptance

    “Grant me serenity to accept what I cannot change, courage to change things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.”

  10. Develop a Relationship with God

    – Spiritually healthy people are happy people.



Our Incredible Staff!

Every so often we update our office/admin staff photos – this summer we did it again, which you can see below.  These folks are among the finest in the industry at providing the critical help and support to our installers & technicians on the front lines.  From a customer’s first phone call, to the final billing on a project, and all the necessary steps in between, these professionals get it done with excellence each and every day!  GO TEAM!

Sales and Estimating Team
Project Managers & Operations
Engineering- & Design Team
Accounting & Purchasing Team
Executive/Management Team

CLN Membership is a Win-Win

Last month I attended the annual meetings of the Construction Leadership Network (CLN) in Tucson Arizona.  Made up of like-minded contractors from across the United States and Canada, this organization focuses on Learning, Sharing and Building among members for purposes of growing together and making our companies (and the industry) better, smarter and more profitable.  Being in a different time zone for several days is always interesting, but the inconvenience of the time change was easily overshadowed by learning new things, exploring new ideas and seeing old friends – not to mention getting a little golf in too. During this years conference I was able to sit in on focus groups and peer discussion groups focusing on…
  • Vision, Culture & Empowerment
  • Delivering A Different Experience
  • Selling Intangibles
  • Secrets to Management Success
  • Business Development
  • Executive Discussions
  • Workforce Development
No matter where in the country it’s held, I find it’s always a worthwhile trip for the knowledge and the networking – and being at a beautiful desert resort in January provided a nice break from our northeast weather. Enjoy these pictures from the trip…

Fall is a very busy time at James CRAFT & Son

Our apprentices started classes at ABC Keystone. This year we have 11 Plumbing Apprentices, 5 Sheet Metal Apprentices and 4 HVAC Technician Apprentices.  We are always so proud of the hard work our apprentices put into their jobs as well as their studies. We wish them a very successful school year.


HVAC Service Apprentice Zac Nelson will be competing in this year’s ABC Keystone Apprentice Competition. If he wins he will be eligible to compete at ABC Nationals in California this coming March. Good Luck Zac!

Our mighty Craft Clay Shoot Teams took First and Second Place in the Annual ABC Clay Shoot. Also, plumbing foreman Tory Anderson took home the prize for top shooter.

Finally, Human Resources Director Jessica Craft Schlosberg was featured in a recent Construction Executive Magazine article on leadership training and harnesses young talent.

Jessica Craft Schlosberg Named One of Central PA’s Forty Under 40

On Tuesday, October 9, our very own Jessica Craft Schlosberg was honored as one of Central Penn Business Journal’s 2018 Forty Under 40 award recipients for her commitment to business growth, professional excellence and community service at an evening reception and awards program at Hilton Harrisburg. This prestigious program showcased the region’s most talented young business leaders. Jessica is Director of Human Resources and a fifth generation up-and-comer at James CRAFT & Son, a 118-year-old family-owned plumbing, HVAC, and mechanical service contractor based in York, PA.

Craft Schlosberg has served in various leadership roles throughout the community that work hand-in-hand with her passion for careers in construction. She partnered with the Keystone Chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors, as well as York County Alliance for Learning to bring ACE Trades Mentoring to York County for graduating students who were not college bound. This program provided York County Juniors and Seniors the opportunity to partake in weekly hands-on learning experiences in various construction trades. Students were able to learn about career opportunities in the various trades, as well as about the apprenticeship programs, certificate programs and two-year college degrees. Several of the students that Jessica mentored in the program now work for James CRAFT & Son.

In addition, she volunteers for Dallastown School District’s Gold Collar Career Fair, Ethical Decision Making Day and is often a guest speaker in Career Readiness Classes. She has also been a keynote speaker for several Teacher In-Service Training sessions. She also volunteers for Red Lion School District’s Mock Interview Day and guest teaches several times a year on Soft Skills and Interview Skills. Craft Schlosberg spent six years on the YCAL Board of Directors and served as Board Chairperson in 2015. She currently presents at the YCAL events and has served as a panelist and keynote speaker for their Career Education and Work Standards Symposium.

Craft Schlosberg’s husband David Schlosberg, of Gunn-Mowery, LLC, an insurance and benefits firm with four offices in Central Pennsylvania, has also been named one of Central Penn Business Journal’s 2018 Forty Under 40. This is the first time in the program’s 24 years that a husband and wife have both been recipients of the prestigious award.

“It is certainly an incredible honor to stand along side so many amazing individuals who are helping to navigate Central Pennsylvania’s fantastic future,” says Jessica.

Following the event, the Schlosbergs and other award recipients will be featured in a special publication of the Central Penn Business Journal distributed October 12.

Junior Achievement YES! Event at Central York Middle School

Recently three of us had the pleasure and privilege of volunteering at Central York Middle School’s YES! event on Friday, December 1st!  It was a large event with more than 1,000 students reached in just a few hours.  It was a lot of fun (and rewarding) to interact with the 7th and 8th grade students.  Thanks to Randy Doxzon and Andrew Snyder for coming out and joining me and the many other family and business volunteers.

YES!  is a day-long program held at the middle school level. It consists of a series of activities intended to help students gain an appreciation for the importance that financial and career decisions will play in their lives as young adults.  The program is coordinated by Junior Achievement and involves volunteers who work with the students during the day. Each volunteer is able to share their background with the students as the day proceeds.  The goal of YES! is to inspire students to appreciate the key issues surrounding careers and financial responsibility.

What’s Behind “Our Mission Statement”

Our company is guided by the following mission statement…

“James CRAFT & Son, Inc. is a family owned and managed company with a proud heritage, whose mission is to be the leading provider of superior mechanical systems and services, through quality CRAFTsmanship, committed customer service and professional solutions.”


…but what exactly is behind this conglomerate of words?  In this blog we break it all down for further explanation and clarity.

  1. Family owned and managed company – in other words “we work here too”!  This has been a foundational core value of ours since the beginning.  Basically we (the Craft family) are the owners and day to day managers of the company.  We are NOT a group of investors who happen to own a mechanical construction firm as part of our portfolio of companies.  On the contrary we are here every day, rolling up our sleeves, digging in and making it happen right alongside all other employees.  And we operate with “an open door policy”, meaning we are always available for questions, direction, advice and guidance.

  2. A proud heritage – sure we’re proud of our past, our founders, our ancestors and our history.  Who wouldn’t be?  Do we have a perfect past?  Of course not!  But one thing we like to say is, “just keep making NEW mistakes.”  In other words, when blunders happen or we goof up, we make it right and we learn from it.  We don’t want our 117 years of experience to be the same year repeated 117 times.  We welcome each year’s new challenges, and strive for personal and organizational growth in how we meet those challenges.

  3. The leading provider of superior mechanical systems and services – are we leading the way?  We say YES!  But leading doesn’t have to mean we’re the biggest in terms of sales or employees or trucks on the road.  What’s most important to us is leading in terms of customer satisfaction – that we deliver the solutions which best fit the application, the need, the schedule, and the budget.

  4. Through quality CRAFTsmanship – this has literally become “the CRAFT way”…our slogan…our mantra…our MO.  From the seasoned foremen, superintendents and managers leading our projects, to the entry level laborers and apprentices, our people provide QUALITY on every project, big or small.  It has become part of our thinking, part of our “fabric”, and certainly part of our company culture.

  5. Through committed customer service – very simply put, we wish to deliver value to the customer in a way that makes them want to do business with us again.  From the first phone call to the final billing, we want the customer’s experience to be one they brag about.  And our people take pride in making that happen each and every day!  To us it’s not just a job…it’s a mindset, it’s what makes us tick, it’s our life and our company culture, and we take great pride in that.

  6. Through professional solutions – this is accomplished not only in the mechanical systems we install, maintain and service for customers, but also in the back office…through apprenticeship training, success skills mentoring, ongoing safety training, innovation and automation in our shops, and by investing and implementing advanced IT solutions for design, estimating, project management, purchasing, payroll, billing and service.

Why Our Trucks Are Red Fords

Check out this video from our YouTube channel for the first hand story about why we drive Red Fords.

The building of our Timeline Wall

We recently completed this display on the 1st floor of our offices to show progression of the company history over the years.  A lot of hard work and dedication was put into the building of our company to get it to the great place it is today.  We are proud of our heritage and we hope you enjoy the many years of historical meaning depicted here!

Operations Department Office Renovations Complete!

This past month we completed a renovation project in the operations department on the 2nd floor of our offices.  After relocating everyone to temporary office spaces scattered throughout the rest of our building, the entire space was “gutted”.  Then over the next several weeks the entire space was rebuilt from floor to ceiling.  Each project manager now has their own clean, modernly furnished, enclosed office complete with counter tops, shelves and a door for privacy. Check out this short video to see the project from start to finish.