Manufacturing in Butler County

Sam Pates works on machining a part. (Bethany Carson photo.)

Heartland Machine and Tool in New Hartford has been serving the surrounding area since 2000, working on everything from design to fabrication, machining, inspection and delivery.

While readers may hear regularly about unemployment throughout the country, the biggest challenge Heartland Machine faces is finding qualified employees who are willing to work.

“It’s a huge issue. There’s a shortfall. Employees who work hard are hard to find,” said owner Shawn Hagedorn.

Heartland Machine offers tool and die work, CNC turning, production machining, horizontal and vertical CNC machining, CMM inspection, welding and more. Customers range from individual farmers to huge corporations. Owner and president Shawn Hagedorn and shop manager Joel Stahl recently gave the Eclipse News-Review and in-depth tour of their operations.

Heartland Machine and Tool’s major projects focus on machining support tooling for manufacturers in the Cedar Valley.

Manufacturers use these tools and equipment in their shops to create products consumers see in the market.

“There’s money to be made … [but] nobody’s encouraging anybody else to get in this trade,” Stahl said. “There’s such a shortfall of employees here. It’s hard to find qualified employees.” While many young people seem to prefer white-collar jobs, they are passing up great manufacturing opportunities.

“We all want better for our kids, but these are good jobs,” Hagedorn said. “These are $15 to $25 an hour jobs.”

For the full story, see this week’s Eclipse News-Review. Subscribe by calling 319-346-1461 or by clicking here.