Steel is the world’s strongest and most versatile material. Our cars, bridges, buildings, airports, and arenas are all constructed from steel.
On the campaign trail, the loss of jobs in American steel is often portrayed as an example to why our nation’s trade policies are not working.
Locally though, one steel business is thriving – Stockton Steel. You might not know about it, but it’s one of the largest steel fabricators in the United States, and its headquartered right here in Stockton. The Herrick Corporation has been around for almost 100 years and employs over 2000 people across the glove.
“A lot of good quality people that work here at Stockton Steel that can handle just about any job they throw at us,” says Charlie Rhodes, a master mechanic whose logged over 46 years at Stockton Steel. “The reason I’ve stuck with it for so long is because it’s a challenge, and I love a challenge, and every year we get a new challenge that’s more difficult than the previous year.”
Fabricating steel is shaping steel, and Stockton Steel does it on a large scale like no other fabricator. They’re the workers behind Sacramento Airport’s Terminal B, the shape shifters that make architect Frank Gehry’s Walt Disney Concert Hall come to life, and the builders behind California’s skyline.
“If you look at the skylines for either San Francisco or Los Angeles, and you see your favorite buildings, we’ve probably done eight out of ten of the tallest buildings,” says President Bob Hazelton.
The two biggest projects in San Francisco are 181 Freemont Street and Salesforce Tower. The Herrick Corporation and its subsidiary Stockton Steel are the steel fabricators for both jobs. 181 Freemont is set to complete early next year using 13 tons of steel to build 54 floors of mixed use development. Down the street, Salesforce Tower is rising to the sky with 11 tons of Stockton Steel. Set to be completed in 2018, it will be San Francisco’s tallest skyscraper at 61 floors.
For the workers at Stockton Steel, building two structures that go over 800 and 1000 feet high is a challenge that they revel in. “We’re proud of what we do. We love to look at a building and say we participated in that,” says Hazelton.
If you are interested in working at Stockton Steel for the Herrick Corporation, click here.