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Chances are, if you have driven along North Carolina’s major highways, you have driven right past or over the handiwork of Mack Industries, Inc.
“It’s all underground and buried and no one thinks about it,” said Jeff Solvesky, general manager at the company’s Sharpsburg plant.
Mack Industries, with 25 workers, is the largest employer in Sharpsburg, providing jobs for crane operators, truck drivers, forklift drivers, general laborers, an engineer and a quality control manager.
The company opened a factory in Sharpsburg in 2006. Workers make concrete drainage structures, manholes, stormwater catch basins and other large fixtures that are used as part of the drainage facet of major highway projects.
Mack Industries is currently making the drainage structures that are part of the U.S. 301 improvement project in Wilson.
“It will be about 200 structures to go down in that 301 job,” Solvesky said. “Each have multiple pieces, so it will probably take 400 to 500 pieces to make up that 200 structures. There’s a bottom and there’s a lid and there are the adjustments on top to go with it.”
Other big jobs include the Interstate 95 widening project in Johnston County, I-85 in Salisbury, I-77 in Charlotte, the new outer loop in Fayetteville and the I-440 job in Raleigh.
“Everything that we do is pretty much based on the NCDOT sizes,” Solvesky said.
The company manufactures a special type of self-compacting concrete that is poured in metal forms to create the heavy concrete fixtures, some weighing as much as 40,000 to 45,000 pounds.
“It’s not like regular concrete,” Solvesky said. “It flows like water would instead of like the cement that comes out of the back of a truck. It’s stronger and it’s more workable.”
Out of the Sharpsburg facility, about 80 pieces are made each day.
“We probably do anywhere from 22,000 to 25,000 pieces a year,” Solvesky said.
The factory goes through upwards of 20,000 yards of concrete annually.
Solvesky said the company has adopted a continuous improvement business philosophy.
“It’s just looking at your processes to try to make them better every day to make your job easier and also be more efficient and more productive,” Solvesky said. “The better and more efficient and the more productive you can be, the longer you are going to last, the better you can offer a service to your customers. That’s pretty much where our continuous improvement come in.”
Supervisor Robert Stolpp, of Elm City, has been with the company since 2006 when it began operation in Sharpsburg.
“I have a lot of jobs. I do anything he asks,” Stolpp said. “I love it. Every day there is something different.”
Stolpp said he likes the atmosphere, the work environment, the general manager, the constant work and the constant change.
“The company is dedicated to us, the employees, and I feel that we should be dedicated to the company,” Stolpp said. “The company has treated us well.”
Solvesky said even though the pieces the company makes will likely go in the ground and never be seen again, workers still have pride in what they are producing.
“It does get buried, but it’s still got to look good,” Solvesky said. “Someone’s still buying it. The only time anyone sees it is when we make it and we deliver it. When it’s put in the ground, it’s gone.”
The pieces have to fit together right, which is a function of quality control and the upkeep of the forms.
“It has to be designed properly in order to accept the holes for the right pipes so that it fits together,” Solvesky said.
Mack Industries is located on a 41-acre property at 4879 U.S. 301 on the south side of Sharpsburg. The company can be reached at 252-977-3733. More information can be found online at www.mackconcrete.com/. The corporate headquarters for the company is in Cleveland, Ohio.
Located 12 miles north of Wilson on U.S. 301.
Mayor is Robert Williams Jr.
Population is 1,995
Incorporated in 1883