Celebrating 70 Years in Business
Tribute to Eagle Metalcraft’s Founding Family
In April of 1953, Eagle Metalcraft opened its doors for business. Seventy years later, the business is still going strong thanks to team members, customer support, and contributions from many business-minded individuals and organizations in the central New York region.
The most important factor in Eagle Metalcraft’s success, however, is the company’s founder, Jack Helmer, and his son, Jim Helmer. Combined, they ran the business for 69 years.
“Jim is the oldest son of Jack and Kitty and ran the company for 40 years,” said Eagle Metalcraft’s current owner Michael Bower, who purchased the business from Jim in 2022. “Jim has heart and patience, unlike anyone I have ever met.”
Michael, who was recently recognized as the veteran small business owner of the year in the region, credits Jim with teaching him the business.
“I learned more from Jim in my two years of working for him than in any other place in my life,” Michael said. “He has a knack for getting the best out of people with kindness and questions to motivate.”
Today, Eagle Metalcraft’s core business is precision sheet metal with machining.
“For a smaller shop, it’s amazing what we do,” Michael said.
Starting with raw metal, the sheet metal shop combines precision sheet metal fabrication with vibrant powder coating and custom silk screening to create durable, high-quality components. The shop also stands by its policy of delivering products on time, every time. Michael credits the Helmer family with setting the foundation for this quality craftsmanship and success.
“They were strategic and kept growing and adding process capability,” Michael said. Those capabilities include welding, cutting, forming, hardware, paint, powder, assemblies, milling, and machining. “The risk they took to grow created all the jobs we have today.”
Growing Relationships, Partnerships, and More
Eagle Metalcraft has remained at the 3550 Burnet Avenue location since opening in 1953. The facility was a mere 1,700 square foot round wooden building at that time. After decades of modifications and multiple expansions, the facility has grown to more than 17x its original size and boasts over 30,000 square feet.
Naturally, the business’s capabilities and team grew as the facility grew.
“As the Helmer Family grew the business, they were able to retain team members for three, four, five – almost six decades,” Michael said. “You don’t hold onto people for that long without being a great family to work for. Jim is a smart, kind businessman that built relationships and partnerships.”
Running and growing the business for 69 years, the Helmers built a culture of quality, hard work, and craftsmanship that emulates to this day.
“They created a legacy of a quality culture that’s in the DNA of Eagle Metalcraft,” Michael said, adding, “It gets on all of us new additions and sticks.”
As far as owning a business that has been successful for seven decades, Michael had this to say:
“Jim and his family built a wonderful place to work and set the tone for high-quality precision metalworking in the semiconductor, medical, and electronic industries. I am so proud that Jim trusted me with his family business. It is a big responsibility that I take seriously, and successfully continuing the legacy his family built influences my every decision.”
The sheet metal industry has experienced significant change since 1953, including a shift from purely manual operations to automation and computer numerical control (CNC) machines. Eagle Metalcraft remained successful by adapting and making state-of-the-art investments.
“Safety, quality, and delivery expectations rose quickly, and the Helmers stayed ahead of that while not losing the craftsmanship of the work,” Michael said. “Today, we still invest in technology and people to hold that tradition.”
ABOUT EAGLE METALCRAFT
Eagle Metalcraft employs a mix of team members, from employees who have been with the company for decades to new faces eager to continue the company’s transition into the digital age. As the premier sheet metal fabricator, Eagle Metalcraft maintains an “old world craftsmanship” using state-of-the-art capital equipment to improve quality and productivity.
Experience exceptional customer service with Eagle Metalcraft – where precision meets excellence. We look forward to teaming up with you – contact us today!