Putting the craft back in craftsmanship with Shickel Corporation

Shickel Feature Blog

Across Virginia, if you know where to look, you’ll see intricate, beautiful, functional metal work. You may see it standing in front of an elevator. A staircase. A handrail. The exterior of a building. These are all things you interact with and may notice consciously or subconsciously every day, but have you thought about the hands that shape them?

Tucked away in Bridgewater, Va., you’ll find a metalworks shop that is producing some of the most stellar projects that are works of art in themselves. Shickel Corporation produces and installs a variety of ornamental architecture on project sites all around the Mid-Atlantic. You can even see its handy work on the campus of one of our community colleges. In addition to the structural metal design and fabrication it produces, it also does stainless steel, aluminum and brass work for clients in food and pharmaceuticals production.

“We like to do the things people find difficult or challenging to do,” Jeff Stapel, manager of HR at Shickel Corporation, said.

The team at Shickel specializes in taking a customer’s big idea or concept, and making it a reality, by working through the drawing, design, fabrication and installation process. Or “concept to reality,” as Stapel put it.

And while Shickel’s team produces works of art, they’re not looking for artisans per se, but are looking for welders, custom metalwork installers, project managers and mechanical designers who have a passion for problem solving and are up for a challenge.

“Our biggest challenge is finding people who can bring the concept to fabrication, manage the project and produce those pieces,” Stapel said. “A lot of students get wrapped up in making the 3D model – but it’s the fabrication drawings that really matter. We help them translate that into drawings our fabricators can then produce. Blue Ridge’s mechanical design and welding graduates bring the skills necessary to produce those products. We also have people who start as fabricators, get the skills hands-on and move into production and project management. There are different pathways to advance in the field.”

If you have a craftsman mindset and you enjoy bringing something to life, then you may be a great fit for a job with Shickel. The company is a big supporter of Blue Ridge Community College and workforce training programs that allow people to learn new skills and build up their expertise.

“Our people value trust, integrity and the opportunity to take on responsibility they may not have had in other places,” Stapel said. “We want people to rise to their highest level of capability.”

Shickel Corporation is a supporter of Virginia’s Community Colleges through the G3 Business Ambassador program. If you think you’re a fit for a role at Shickel, visit its website to learn more.