Construction Career Days Event

Skilled labor in construction is a commodity in short supply.  The York Builders Association (YBA) and James CRAFT & Son have teamed up to change that by giving area high school students an opportunity to explore local skilled trade career opportunities in action. The objective of the Construction Career Days Event is to build awareness among high school students about the diverse career opportunities available to them locally in the construction industry. Students from Dallastown High School and West York High School got a first-hand look at the kind of work that goes on at James CRAFT & Son, the many potential job opportunities, and the role the organization plays in the local construction market. “The lack of skilled workers in the construction trades is a big challenge,” said YBA Executive Vice President Laurie Lourie. “YBA would like to be part of the solution. Today’s youth need to start seeing careers in construction as a viable alternative to a four-year degree, and often a lifetime of loans. The Construction Career Day events are one of several initiatives that we are working on to build a better future for the industry.” The York Builders Association works with member companies and matches the organizations up with area high schools interested in participating. In addition to James CRAFT & Son, four other local businesses participated – hosting 18 students from nine area high schools. This is the second year for the event.  

Annual Awards & Safety Day

This year we changed things up for our annual December Awards & Safety Day and held our event at an off-site venue. Our office shut down for the day, and our entire team gathered for relevant safety-related training and updates. The day ended with awards and a holiday luncheon. We had quite a few special safety and years-of-service award recipients this year.

Safety Awards:

5 Years – Shawn Haugh, Jesse Walker, Jason Wolf

10 Years – Nate Cooper, Adam Cramer

15 Years – Gary Keckler

20 Years – Shawn Ely

Years of Service Awards:

20 Years – Diane Beck, Shawn Ely, Paul Phillips, Jane Sweitzer, Trent Wagner (not present)

30 Years – John Myers (not present)

40 Years – Mike Kearns

Congratulations to everyone and enjoy the holidays!!!

James W. Craft Scholarship Program

Each year, a few students from our local high school are awarded James W. Craft Scholarships.  James W. is the grandfather of our 4th Generation owners at James Craft & Son.  James W. valued hard work and understood the importance of education, which he encouraged his children and grandchildren to pursue. The scholarships are granted each year to students intending to further their education and pursue construction-related fields.

James W. Craft, the second generation owner, stands by a CRAFT service truck.

This year, two graduates from Northeastern Senior High School were presented these scholarships. Oluwaseyi Ijiyemi is planning to attend MIT and Raymond Kozen is attending PSU, York Campus for a degree in Mechanical Engineering. We wish them the best of luck in their education and future careers.

The James W. Craft Scholarship Fund was established in 1998 in memory of James W. (who passed away in 1966) by James Craft & Son, James E. Craft, and Esther Craft Miller.  James E. and Esther are two of James W.’s four children.

Fabrication Excellence!

James CRAFT & Son has a talented group of employees, and its Pre-Fab department is no different. That department provides great efficiencies in the field by fabricating pipe assemblies in advance, under controlled conditions, so they can be easily installed upon arrival at the job site.

Recently, some employees in the Pre-Fab shop worked to construct 64 stainless steel piping assemblies for hose reels, hand sinks, and emergency eye wash/shower stations for a large project at Bell and Evans in Fredericksburg, PA. The assemblies consisted of more than 2,300 threaded and welded joints that were assembled in the shop to be sent to the field for installation. To no one’s surprise, every one of those was cut, threaded, assembled, transported, installed and tested without a single leak!

The credit for accomplishing this amazing feat belongs to plumbing mechanic in charge, Dan Hombach. Thank you Dan for your hard work and attention to detail on this project!

The entire team in the shop deserves much praise for pre-fabricated stainless steel pipe in the mechanical rooms on the same job. The piping in the mechanical room consisted of more than 1,600 feet of pipe ranging from 2” to 10”.  More details on some of the piping on that job as well as additional photos can be seen in our upcoming newsletter, which will be mailed out soon. 

In-House Success Skills Training Program

They asked; we delivered! Some of our employees requested additional training opportunities in a recent employee survey.

In 2017, James CRAFT & Son will begin to conduct regular, in-house training on a variety of topics that will be helpful to our employees in an effort to develop their knowledge base. Our first Success Skills Training was held this week and covered Job Site Management & Professionalism. We didn’t get to cover all of the items on the agenda, so the topic is “to be continued” at a future session, which will be scheduled for April.

There are plenty of ideas floating around for future topics, but we’re open to suggestions. If you’re an employee of James CRAFT & Son a
nd have an idea for a future topic, please don’t hesitate to let Jessica know.

Thanks to all of the employees who attended this week’s training. We hope you learned something and we look forward to seeing you at the next one in April! 

Administrative Team at James CRAFT & Son

The administrative team at James CRAFT & Son recently got out of the office for a luncheon in celebration of Administrative Professionals’ Day.  The management team recognizes the important roles these ladies have around our office.  Thank you for your (in some cases many) years of dedication to the company.  The employees in these positions certainly keep our office running smoothly and help to support our work happening out in the field.

And our administrative staff is growing! James CRAFT & Son has welcomed 2 new additions to the office over the past few weeks, Nikki Kamler and Angie Temple.

Nikki is the new Service Dispatcher for our Service Department while Angie will be our receptionist in the afternoons.  We extend a warm welcome to both Angie and Nikki in our office!  

Apprenticeship Application Season Blog – By: Nicole Bazdar

It’s Apprenticeship Application Season!

James CRAFT & Son will begin accepting applications for its apprenticeship training program on Monday, April 20th. Positions are available in the Plumbing, Sheet Metal, and Electrician classifications.

Apprenticeship programs combine on-the-job training with classroom instruction from experienced craftsman. They provide a unique opportunity for individuals to further their education while working and without the costs of a college education. Upon successful completion of the 4 year, 8000 hour program, apprentices are able to sit for the state licensing examination to obtain a Journeyman license.

Last month one of our 4th year apprentices, Nick Miller, had the opportunity to compete at the 2015 ABC National Craft Championships in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Nick showed off the skills and knowledge he has attained and took 3rd place in the Sheet Metal competition. Congratulations, Nick!

If you are ready for a career, not just a job, in the construction industry, you can find further details of the application process below.

Apprentices are required to attend classes in subjects related to the trade for a minimum of 144 hours per year, each year of their apprenticeship.  Tuition fees are paid by the Company—additional materials paid by the apprentice.

We are an equal opportunity employer, and selection of apprentice applicants under this program shall be on the basis of qualification and without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, sex, or non job-related disability.

Individuals interested in becoming an apprentice must apply in person and furnish copies of the following non-returnable materials:

  1. Proof of age (copy for our records of birth certificate or similar document).
  2. Copy of High School Diploma or GED Certificate, if applicable.
  3. Transcripts of Last Grade Completed from Guidance Department of school attended.
  4. Proof of Trade Work Experience, if any (letter from employer noting experience).
  5. Form 214 for VeteransOther forms may be needed.
  6. Three Letters of Reference from acquaintances, other than family.

Applicants shall be of legal working age, and physically fit to perform the duties of the trade.  All job offers are contingent upon passing physical/drug test, and furnishing ID and work eligibility documents required by U.S. Immigration Laws.

Applicants placed in the eligibility pool will be interviewed by a representative of our Company.  They will be notified of the time and date of the interview.

We will have openings for the placement of apprentices as follows:




Interested persons apply to:

James CRAFT & Son, Inc.

2780 York Haven Rd, Manchester, PA 17345

April 20, 2015 thru May 1, 2015

9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  Monday thru Friday

ABC Instructor of the Year Blog – By: Nicole Bazdar

You probably already know that many construction workers are well-educated via apprenticeship programs that provide specialized training and experience. However, that education is only as good as the instructors! James CRAFT & Son is fortunate to have 2 very talented instructors on our team.

Jerry Brown, one of our Sheet Metal Mechanics, was recently honored by the Keystone Chapter of ABC as the 2013-2014 Instructor of the Year. He’s now in competition with Drew Doxzon, who has received the award twice. It’s one thing to be a great Sheet Metal Mechanic or Electrician, but it’s even better to be able to share those skills and knowledge with others.



Jerry started at CRAFT at the age of 15 as a helper/laborer in the shops and warehouse. He graduated from the ABC Apprenticeship Program in 2010, and even won a Bronze medal in sheet metal at the 2010 National Craft Competition. Jerry joined ABC Keystone as an instructor in 2011. He is highly regarded by ABC staff and students, and we’re proud to have him.

Congratulations, Jerry!

Habitat for Humanity Blog – By: Nicole Bazdar

The employees at James CRAFT & Son are great at fabricating and installing ductwork and piping systems. They’re also great at servicing a variety of plumbing and HVAC equipment in large commercial, industrial, and institutional projects all over the mid-Atlantic region. But recently, some of our employees donated their personal time to help out on a much different type of project not far from our main office…. James Craft & Son teamed up with other local contractors and volunteers to work on a project for York Habitat for Humanity. The home, located in downtown York on W. Jackson Street, is a remodel of an existing house. The CRAFT volunteers, led by General Superintendent Allan Jordan, were responsible for HVAC ductwork and equipment, consisting of metal and flexible ductwork, grilles, registers, diffusers, and HVAC and vent piping. James Craft & Son donated the necessary materials, while the units were provided by Johnson Controls. The sheet metal was fabricated in-house in our sheet metal fabrication shop. Allan’s crew consisted of Todd Mundy (Project Superintendent) and his girlfriend Bree, Jerry Brown (Sheet Metal Mechanic), Katie Brown (Sheet Metal Apprentice), Jr. Brown (Sheet Metal Shop Foreman), Jason Crawford (Project Manager Assistant), and James P. Craft (Project Manager).

Ashley & Oundre at their new home!

Mission Statement Blog – By: Nicole Bazdar

There are currently 4 members of the 5th generation of James CRAFT & Son, Inc. who have joined the company full-time over the last 5 years. Jessica, Steven, James and I meet on a monthly basis to discuss our family involvement and any improvements or changes we would like to see within the organization. We recently decided to compose a mission statement for the company. It was presented to the current management team and the following statement was officially adopted on January 21, 2013…

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.

Although a formal mission statement was never adopted prior to this, we didn’t have much trouble coming up with something. The company has been operating with these values in mind for more than 112 years. Through our conversations, we wanted to make sure we created a mission statement that accurately highlighted and exemplified our company for the past, present, and future.