Steel workers gain hope after Tennessee-based company buys Lynchburg Steel

Lynchburg Steel & Specialty Co. closed its doors this summer

LYNCHBURG, Va. – Gary Lipscomb will be 53 on Tuesday. He dedicated 31 years of his life to Lynchburg Steel & Specialty Co.

"I love working for Mr. Anderson. I worked for his daddy and I can't say nothing bad about him,” Lipscomb said. 

The company closed its doors this summer, letting 80 people go. Not knowing the outcome, Gary and 23 others the promised previous owners they would work until the very end. 

"All the guys here are glad that the man bought the place, because they wouldn't have to go look either, because this is their livelihood. That's what they done all their life, most of them here,” Lipscomb said. 

Cooper Steel Fabricator Inc., a Tennessee-based company, heard about Lynchburg Steel’s closure. A week ago, Cooper sealed the deal. It knew expanding in Amherst County was the perfect place in which to expand. 

“We flew up here, interviewed some of the people looked at their plant and decided, if we could, try to keep these guys instead of having them go unemployed," said Gary Cooper, CEO and chairman of Cooper Steel Fabricator Inc., said.

“We're super excited that we've got a great company in here. They're going to retain some of these high-skilled workers and eventually we hope they'll expand and add to their roles and bring back all the employee numbers Lynchburg Steel had had,”  said Victoria Hansen, executive director of economic development for Amherst County, said.

With feelings of excitement all around and the new announcement today of a $1 an hour raise, Gary knows he's set for life. 

“They made me happy when they bought the place because I ain’t gotta leave. I can retire here. I can do the rest of my life here," he said.

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