2018 Excellence In Construction Awards Blog

If you have spent time on our website or Facebook, you know James CRAFT & Son prides itself on providing “Quality CRAFTsmanship in Every Job” and being a contractor of the highest quality standards. This was once again proven at the Excellence in Construction Awards Gala for the Keystone Chapter of Associated Builders & Contractors for our work in 2017 on the Lancaster General Health Energy Center, Bell & Evans Hatchery and Fuch’s North America Headquarters.

On Wednesday, October 24th our team of employees accepted two (2) Excellence Awards and one (1) Merit award for our work on these projects. Our awards were:

Lancaster General Health Energy Center – Excellence: HVAC $1-$5 Million, Project of the Year Candidate

James CRAFT & Son performed the Mechanical Piping, HVAC and Plumbing installation for the renovation of Lancaster General Health’s existing boiler house and the vertical expansion for their new state of the art Energy Center. This nearly 18,500 square foot renovation and expansion, dubbed the “Energy Center of the Future” brought the hospital’s steam, chilled water and electrical services under one roof to allow for centralized control and more efficient operation, maintenance and monitoring of the environment.

The Energy Center Project had the goal of providing resilient power, steam, and chilled water for the expanding Lancaster General Hospital. With the vision of achieving these goals efficiently so that the hospital’s operating costs could be reduced all while limiting the overall impact of the project on the hospitals ongoing day to day operations. In the event of a utility provided power failure, this facility can power the hospital’s operations as long as they maintain access to natural gas service.

Bell & Evans Hatchery Plumbing & Utility Piping – Excellence: Plumbing Over $5 Million

James CRAFT & Son was hired to perform the Plumbing and HVAC installation for the new Chicken Hatchery for Bell & Evans. This new 160,000 square foot structure was built as the first organic certified and animal-welfare-focused chicken hatchery in the world. This state of the art facility can currently produce 1.9 million chicks per week while a planned expansion will increase that number to 3.6 million chicks per week.

Fuchs North America Headquarters – Merit: HVAC $1-$5 Million

James CRAFT & Son was hired to perform the Plumbing, HVAC, Controls, and Process Piping for the new headquarters and production facility for Fuch’s North America, a leader in the commercial spice & seasonings market. This 275,000 square foot facility was built to house their corporate offices as well as provide space for storage, production, and product testing. Not only did we work as the mechanical contractor for the project, but we also assisted in the design and budgeting process for over two years prior to the beginning of construction.

Over the course of the design, our long-time employee, Charlie Wolf worked hand-in-hand with the design team and the owner on the design and layout of the HVAC and Plumbing systems. Unfortunately, he was unable to see the project through to the end as he passed away shortly before the start of construction.

Thanks to our outstanding team of designers, estimators, project managers and experienced installers, we were able to help bring these projects in on time and under budget. Congratulations to the crews who worked on these projects. Your hard work is very much appreciated and our team is already on the lookout for next year’s ABC EIC entries!

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.

Why should I Pre-Fab?

Having materials pre-assembled, fabricated and ready for final install can be a huge advantage to your company or your business. You can save downtime for your systems or operations, reduce installation costs, increase the level of quality control, reduce safety risks, improve your schedule and other benefits. Below are some photos of our shop in action. Call us or e-mail us for more information.

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.

Congratulations Spring 2018 Graduates

May is an exciting month as we celebrate three of our upcoming graduates. 

Service Department Co-op Students Charles Smith and Raymond Mattie-Torres will both graduate from the York County School of Technology in early June. Both young men have spent their spring semesters working with our Senior Service Technicians. Through this process they’ve experienced hands on learning, while also receiving work experience and the opportunity to practice soft skills with our customers and employees.  We are exceptionally proud of how Ray and Charles have grown during this time, and we’re thrilled to announce they both will be starting full-time with us following YCST graduation.

Electrical Apprentice, Michael Cramer, will graduate from the ABC Apprenticeship Program at the end of May.  Mike is also a graduate of the York County School of Technology (class of 2013). Over the past four years Mike has proven to be a diligent student and an excellent electrical apprentice working side by side with our service department and field teams. We are excited for him to complete the apprenticeship, after which he’ll be sitting for the Electrical Journeyman’s test to earn a Journeyman’s License.

Please join us in congratulating these three fine young men. We are very proud of them and their very bright futures.

Please join us in congratulating these three fine young men. We are very proud of them and know they have bright futures ahead.

Why Quality Matters in your Mechanical Systems

Why does quality matter for your mechanical systems?  Those systems are located behind walls or tucked above ceilings, so why is a quality installation so important?

Glad you asked!

Often overlooked and underappreciated, quality workmanship is an important aspect of mechanical construction projects. Too often the construction industry gets a bad reputation because of the few “bad apples” in the industry who cut corners and don’t stand behind their work. What’s the motivation? Save a few dollars on the front end? What happens after you leave?  Who cares that’s someone else’s problem!

Every specification calls for it, but rarely do customers and customer representatives enforce it. Quality control is a cultural among your organization. Those that find value in quality benefit from lasting systems. Systems that work the way they were intended and end up costing the contractors and customers much less in re-work, damages and headaches.

At James CRAFT & Son, Inc. “Quality CRAFTsmanship” is in the name, it’s how we define what we do compared to others.  And it’s why customers call on us time and time again.  Below are two examples of a quality installation compared to the “lowest bidder”.

Can you spot the problems?

Maybe this will help you look at your next project a little differently when hiring a contractor.



Red Lion Student Tour

On December 14th, James CRAFT & Son had the good fortune to host Red Lion High School juniors and seniors for an information session and tour.  Kimberly Morris, Career Coordinator for Red Lion Area School District, identified seven students interest in Careers in Construction to visit our facility.

During their visit the students learned about the history of James CRAFT & Son, the career opportunities available at our organization, what it takes to work in the construction field, and (most importantly) found out about the Apprenticeship Program opportunities available through James CRAFT & Son.

The students were able to witness firsthand some of the operations at CRAFT while taking tours of our Pre-Fab and Sheet Metal Shops as well as our Drafting Department.


After the tour the student sat down for a question and answer session.

It was a great day for everyone involved.

James CRAFT & Son offers tours to student groups throughout the year.

If your student group is interested in a visit, please contact Jessica Craft Schlosberg at any time.

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.