Built in the Blue Ridge: Clark Brothers Welding

ROANOKE (WSLS 10) - David Clark started his business with a service truck and welding machine.

Today, his company has grown into a 46,000-square-foot building with 17 employees.

“We started off doing a government contract for the state of Virginia,” said company president Clark.  “Other contracts came in and we were able to go from there.  We don't manufacture one specific product. We are a contract manufacturer so the name, it might leave a little bit off, Clark Brothers Welding, because we do more than just welding.”

Right now, workers are making dump truck frames for the state and for contractors who push snow. They are also building electronic cabinets, a product once constructed in Mexico that they brought back to the U.S.

Talking about the NO2 cabinet, Clark said, “We're really happy about this product.  This product was being manufactured in Mexico and we were able to help a customer redesign it to manufacture it cheaper here in America.  So we actually brought this work back from Mexico and I’m really proud about that.  We make all the parts for it, we powder coat it we assemble and ship it wherever it needs to go to the customer.”

With most everything the company makes, they custom make all the bits and pieces that go into the final product.

With fewer people learning the skills of the trade, finding workers is a challenge.

Clark is turning to local technical schools and community colleges for help, but still it's a difficult task.

”If you look around, parents are always telling their children when you get out of high school, you need to go to college and get a degree in whatever, and what they should be telling their kids, it's okay to build stuff with your hands, Clark said.”

The company has been nominated as the Roanoke Regional Chamber of Commerce’s Business of the Year for the last three years.

It won the award in 2014.