Distinguished Alumni: Don Craig
Don Craig, a 1963 graduate of Tippecanoe High School, went on to take a 13-week course at Hobart Welding School in Troy, Ohio. “I was a bit more advanced than most of the students,” he says in recognition of the work he’d already done with his father, the late George Craig. “Dad had a welder in our summer kitchen,” he recalls. “I think it was mostly for a hobby but then he started to do work for area farmers.”
Don began working for his father the fourth week of February 1964. “He gave me one paycheck and said, ‘From now on you’re going to be part owner.’”
Now majority owner and president of Craig Welding and Manufacturing, Inc., the sprawling complex that grew from his father’s lone welder, Don likes to say the firm can do anything and everything. “We have engineers who can manufacture anything a customer wants,” he said.
With 52 full-time and six part-time employees, Craig Welding has become noted for its steel sales and portable welding.
“We’re here to help the community,” Don says. Proof of that can be seen in the entry to the office at 5158 No. 825 East where citations and certificates of appreciation line the walls.
Don’s favorite day of the year is the annual open house. “You don’t have to be a customer of ours to attend,” he said. “But if you come, you’ll meet people you haven’t seen in 20 years.”
This year’s open house was August 22 and, as usual, featured grilled fresh pork loin.
As for any obstacles he’s encountered, he said, “Just the ups and downs of the economy— just like everyone else.