Congressman Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson visited Franklin Industries in Venango County last Friday for a tour and to learn some of the exciting accomplishments of this regional manufacturer.

Franklin Industries is a rail rerolling mill- which means they reroll used rails from the railroad and heat them to roll a wide variety of products such as highway sign posts and posts for agriculture fencing. Approximately 1 year ago, the company embarked on a lean journey via the NWIRC’s Lean Together working group- focusing on concepts from the book 2 Second Lean by Paul Akers.

Participants of the tour included company Owner, Nathan Kovalchick; Operations Officer, Don Smith, NWIRC Strategic Business Advisor, Susan HIleman; as well as Congressman Thompson’s staff Peter Winkler and Brad Moore.  Congressman Thompson was impressed with the quality steel products being made in Franklin and distributed across the country, but also by the significant results the company has realized from improvements implemented over the past year, many of which were ideas from employees. “We’ve made some major changes over the last year without large capital investments. We’ve invested in our people and in changing processes,” said Smith. It was evident from the tour and information shared that the employees at Franklin Industries are engaged and excited to share the company’s story.