As one steel erection shop closes, another opens in Grand Rapids with skilled trades jobs available

In the aftermath of the closing of Lamar Construction, three former employees have decided to
combine their 50-plus years of steel construction expertise into a new Grand Rapids-based company, Legacy Steel.

And where many such companies rise from the ashes only to fail, Legacy Steel is guarding against that by partnering with Rockford Construction for its financial and business savvy. With that in mind, Legacy Steel has established an office at 560 5th St. NW, a stone's throw from Rockford Construction's HQ.

Legacy Steel, headed by Jeff Leeuw, Douglas "DJ" Coke, and Wade Walcott, has hired nine ironworkers and a safety manager in preparation for its first job, which started this week, erecting the steel for the new Meijer store in Manistee. That job, anticipated to last six weeks, will be followed by steel erection for another Meijer store in Acme.

Leeuw says that all crew will be busy with these projects, so, as more projects come on board, he's looking to add at least 10 skilled ironworkers in the next six months. Along with those workers, Legacy Steel will add office and administrative support, as needed.

"In the next six months, we're looking at plenty of work," Leeuw says. "The economy in West Michigan is thriving and with Lamar going defunct it left a huge hole in the steel construction industry. We're looking to fill that hole slowly and build back up to where we were."

Leeuw says the company is looking for anyone with a steel erection background, as well as new tradesmen who would like to learn the skills. The company will provide on-the-job and classroom training, as needed.

Regarding Rockford Construction's decision to become an active partner in the venture, CEO Mike VanGessel says the company was looking into adding a "steel, pre-eng, and precast erection division this year, so the opportunity with Leeuw is a perfect fit. We know their work, have the utmost respect for the level of quality and service that Leeuw and team deliver."

To find out more or to inquire about a position, stop by Legacy Steel's office with a résumé.
Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor
Images courtesy of Legacy Steel
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