North Carolina Woman Leads Nationally-Known Steel Works Company
FARMVILLE, North Carolina — As a woman in the construction industry, Susan Farrior is passionate about maintaining the standard of excellence that her grandfather and father started in 1962. The Farmville native and married mother of three is the President and Treasurer of Jack A. Farrior, Inc., where she is committed to quality and service.
“I’m third generation in the company and I just wanted to keep it going,” said Farrior.
Jack A. Farrior, Inc. is a steel works company that designs and fabricates for a variety of markets and serves communities around the nation. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, women make up just nine percent of America’s construction industry and even fewer serve in upper management or president roles. As a woman part of that statistic, Farrior doesn’t let it stop her.
“I’ve always been in a man’s world and I stand my ground,” said Farrior. “It’s all I ever knew. I started working when I was 12 years old cutting grass. After I got my driver’s license, I started working on the construction sites.”
After graduating from college with a Business Administration degree, Farrior returned home to Farmville to work at her family’s thriving business. As Jack A Farrior, Inc. approaches six decades in business, Farrior hopes to continue providing services with trust and integrity.
“I would say that 85 percent of our business is repeat customers,” said Farrior.
While most of the company’s work is done in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia, they’ve also had projects in other states including Washington, Texas, Indiana, and Ohio. The innovative steel works company focuses on superior and unique solutions to industrial material handling, millwright services, and plant construction.
“My goal is to create an environment where we take care of our employees. That’s very important to me that we take care of each other,” said Farrior. “I want to keep our business strong and growing. Of course, it’s great to grow revenue but it’s important for me to create a home base for our employees.”
However, like many other companies in the construction industry, Jack A. Farrior, Inc. is facing a challenge when it comes to finding the right employees. According to Farrior, it’s been a dilemma for the past 15 years.
“If you’ve heard of The Silver Tsunami, we’re living it and breathing it,” said Farrior. “Individuals that have the trade skill sets are retiring or dying and there’s very few up-and-coming young people in our industry. The struggle is real.”
That’s one of the reasons why the company partnered with Tradesformers in Greenville. Through this program they can bring high school juniors and seniors to their industry through a pre-apprenticeship umbrella. As the steel works company actively hires new employees, it hopes to take on more jobs and projects. However, according to Farrior, no matter how big it grows, the company will always call Farmville home.
“We’re a small, family-owned business and I never wanted to venture or start a location outside of Pitt County,” said Farrior. “Pitt County has always supported small business.”
*This piece was originally published by the Greenville — Eastern North Carolina Alliance website as part of a series during National Business Women’s Week 2020.