“It’s in our blood.” Come join the team.

The C.A. Lawton Minster facility is producing gray and ductile iron castings from 20 pounds all the way up to 45,000 pounds.

We caught up with Steve Johnson, who now has a few months under his belt as the plant manager at our Minster location.

Plant manager Steve Johnson on his first few months

“I’ve seen a great small foundry with a huge opportunity for growth,” said Johnson. “Our business is really transforming now from being a captive job-shop foundry to really a semi-production foundry. There are a lot of opportunities for growth with new customers, new market segments and helping the team here realize their full potential.”

For a long time, C.A. Lawton Minster was part of Nedic, which is still situated right next door in Minster, Ohio. “Our largest customer is still Nedic,” said Johnson.

Who C.A. Lawton Minster serves

The Minster facility has multiple customers in the water works industry for pumps, valves and pipe fittings. We also make quality iron castings for the industrial sector and the mining industry.

“So, a pretty wide variety of castings in different markets that we serve,” added Johnson.

Minster produces mostly small runs, a lot of one and two piece orders. They also get some small to medium size orders as well.

There is a full pattern shop with CNC machining that is just down the road from the foundry. The shop makes its own wood and foam patterns. Along with the pattern shop, C.A. Lawton Minster has two off-site storage buildings in the area.

C.A. Lawton Minster pattern shop
C.A. Lawton Minster pattern shop

The foundry industry gets in your blood

For Johnson, the foundry industry is something that draws you in and keeps your attention. He’s been in the foundry industry for over 27 years, working at foundries in Alabama, Wisconsin, Illinois and now Ohio.

“It just gets in your blood, you love it. You walk in the door, you love the smell, you love the people, it becomes a family quickly because we watch out for each other,” said Johnson. He continued, “You take pride in what you’re doing, most people don’t realize that we drive every day and we work every day around castings that are made in the foundry.”

Johnson said most people don’t understand what we do in the foundry industry, but once you get inside it becomes a great place to work. “Whether you’re supplying fresh water every time you open the tap. You know you made a fitting that the water went through. Or your driving an automobile, you realize the casting that helps keep you safe and drive down the road, you made in a foundry. So, it’s just a great industry, it’s a close-knit industry, you can build great relationships and it’s fun.”

C.A. Lawton Minster
C.A. Lawton Minster

Who we need to join the C.A. Lawton team

C.A. Lawton Minster is always looking for quality and energetic people to join our foundry team.

“The skilled trades obviously are extremely desirable, from a foundry standpoint,” said Johnson.  He said we are always looking for people with CNC machining experience, pattern making experience and engineering experience.

But that’s not the only workers Lawton is looking for. “Most of the jobs in the foundry can be taught and learned if you have some mechanical aptitude, a desire to learn, you can learn them pretty quickly.”

Mechanics, electricians, pattern makers and machinists are almost always in demand in the foundry industry.

Looking ahead to the future at Minster

“We all face that challenge of the next generation. We have people who have been with us for 30-35 years, done a great job, but they’re approaching retirement,” said Johnson. “So to find those replacements is going to be key to our success.”

Johnson continued that it’s important to get quality people into the foundry, create processes that help them learn their jobs quickly and give them a sense of success early on.  “We try our best to build our processes and design things around not having to have the specialist everywhere in the plant. That anyone off the street who wants to learn, with a good work ethic, can come in and do the job,” said Johnson. “It definitely does take the right person, the right mentality, the right work ethic and the right willingness to learn and be better. It takes those people to build a foundry.”

C.A. Lawton Minster
C.A. Lawton Minster

Join the Lawton team today

We have several openings at our Minster facility, so come and join our team in the foundry.

Our job openings include industrial maintenance technician, quality and continuous improvement engineer and an EHS coordinator.

To apply, just click here to see all of the jobs open at Lawton Standard.