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Top Veteran-Owned Manufacturing Companies in the United States

Posted by IndustrySelect on Monday, May 20, 2024

 Top Veteran-Owned Manufacturing Companies in the United States

The American manufacturing sector has long been the backbone of the nation's economy, providing jobs, fostering innovation, and driving growth. At the heart of this sector are the veterans, whose contributions have been pivotal in shaping the industry throughout history. As we approach Memorial Day, we’re taking an inside look at veterans in American manufacturing, from the post-World War II boom to the present day and exploring some of the industry’s largest veteran-owned companies.

Post-World War II: The Great Shift

The end of World War II marked a significant transition for the United States as it shifted from a wartime economy to a peacetime powerhouse. Veterans returning from the war found themselves in a country ready to spend and factories eager to pivot from producing military equipment to consumer goods. This period saw an unprecedented economic expansion, with veterans at the forefront of the workforce, applying the skills and discipline they had acquired during their service to drive productivity and innovation.

Related: How This Small Illinois Manufacturer Made 2.5 Million Gloves in 48 Hours for WWI Troops

The Rise of Veteran-Owned Businesses

The post-war era also saw a rise in veteran-owned businesses, including those in the manufacturing sector. These businesses benefited from the leadership and organizational skills of their veteran owners, who brought a mission-focused approach to their operations. The sense of camaraderie and shared purpose among veteran employees often translated into a strong company culture and a commitment to excellence.

Veterans bring a unique set of skills and experiences to the manufacturing floor. Their technical abilities, honed through military service, are complemented by soft skills such as leadership, adaptability, and a strong work ethic. These qualities not only enhance the dynamics of the workplace but also contribute to operational efficiency and innovation. The impact of hiring veterans extends beyond individual companies, helping to alleviate workforce shortages and influencing the broader economy.

Veterans and the Modern Manufacturing Landscape

Today, veterans continue to play a crucial role in American manufacturing. Their ability to lead, work in teams, and solve problems under pressure makes them ideal candidates for a variety of roles within the industry. Programs like "Heroes MAKE America" by the Manufacturing Institute aim to bridge the gap between military service and manufacturing careers, highlighting the alignment between military roles and manufacturing needs.

MNI tracks veteran-owned manufacturing companies in the U.S.A and currently profiles 1,099 veteran-owned manufacturers in IndustrySelect, their industrial database for industrial sales and marketing. These veteran-owned companies have major global impact with 40% exporting products around the world. These companies not only exemplify the commitment of our veterans but also promote diversity. With 8% of these businesses being women-owned and another 8% minority-owned, they surpass national averages among manufacturing as a whole (2% and 1%, respectively). Some top industries for veteran-owned manufacturers include industrial machinery, fabricated metals, and printing/publishing.

Next, we'll take a look at the largest veteran-owned manufacturing companies in the U.S. tracked by MNI, ranked by number of employees. 

Top Veteran Owned Manufacturing Companies in the United States

CompanyCityState Number of Employees
Petoskey Plastics, Inc.MorristownTN500
Fesco Ltd.AliceTX450
Badia Spices, Inc.MiamiFL370
Geater Machining & Manufacturing Co.IndependenceIA350
Swiss Automation, Inc.BarringtonIL325
Chemtech Plastics, Inc.ElginIL285
Jergens, Inc.ClevelandOH250
Rilco Manufacturing Company, Inc.HoustonTX250
Sealing Devices Inc.LancasterNY230
Sierra Office Systems & Products, Inc.SacramentoCA200

About the Top Veteran-Owned Manufacturing Companies in the United States

1. Petoskey Plastics, Inc.: A leader in the plastics industry since 1984, and recently named 2023 Veteran Business of the Year award from the National Veteran Business Development Council (NVBDC), Petoskey Plastics operates from Morristown, TN. With 500 employees and a 123,000 sq ft facility, they specialize in manufacturing plastic bags, seat covers, and floor mats.

2. Fesco Ltd.: Established in 1949, Fesco Ltd. is a Texas-based company with 450 employees. Their 720,000 sq ft operation offers comprehensive oil and gas services, including well testing and production testing, primarily serving regional markets.

3. Badia Spices, Inc.: From Miami, FL, Badia Spices has been an international name in the spice industry since 1967. Their 370 employees work in a 150,000 sq ft space to process and repackage a variety of whole and ground spices.

4. Geater Machining & Manufacturing Co.: Geater Machining & Manufacturing Co., founded in 1962 in Independence, IA, employs 350 people in a 100,000 sq ft facility, providing precision metal fabrication and machined components for high-tech industries on a national scale.

5. Swiss Automation, Inc.: Swiss Automation, Inc., based in Barrington, IL since 1965, has 325 employees and a 150,000 sq ft plant. They manufacture precision-turned components and offer contract machining internationally.

6. Chemtech Plastics, Inc.: Chemtech Plastics, a custom plastic injection molding company from Elgin, IL, has been operating since 1982. With 285 employees, they provide advanced molding services from their 135,000 sq ft facility to an international market.

7. Jergens, Inc.: Jergens, Inc., headquartered in Cleveland, OH since 1942, employs 250 people in a 105,000 sq ft space. They produce workholding products, tooling components, and electric screwdrivers for international distribution.

8. Rilco Manufacturing Company, Inc.: Rilco Manufacturing, based in Houston, TX, has been a key player in the polyurethane industry since 1977. With 250 employees and a 120,000 sq ft facility, they serve an international clientele with specialized pipe supports.

9. Sealing Devices Inc.: Since 1963, Sealing Devices Inc. has operated out of Lancaster, NY with 230 employees in a 225,000 sq ft headquarters. They manufacture and distribute a wide range of sealing solutions on a national level.

10. Sierra Office Systems & Products, Inc.: Sierra Office Systems & Products, Inc., located in Sacramento, CA, has been a local provider of office systems and supplies since 1981. With 200 employees, they operate from a 60,000 sq ft headquarters.

As we commemorate Memorial Day, it is essential to recognize and honor the contributions of veterans to American manufacturing. Their role in the industry is not just a historical footnote but a continuing legacy that shapes the future of manufacturing in the United States. The skills, values, and dedication that veterans bring to the table are invaluable assets that will continue to drive the industry forward.

Want to do business with veteran-owned manufacturers? Learn about the Veteran-Owned Manufacturing Business Database from MNI, featuring 1,000+ companies and 2,800+ industrial decision-makers.  

Want to keep up with the latest sales and marketing trends and exclusive industrial statistics from MNI? The free weekly IndustrySelect Insider email is the industry's top source for sales, marketing and industrial news you can't find anywhere else. Subscribe here.

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