Campbell business rose from ashes of old mill
Andy Kostecki would get an eerie feeling when he went into the skeletons of former steel mills.
Kostecki, a welder and fabricator for Casey Equipment, would travel throughout the U.S. to find old machinery inside the mills, bring them back to the former Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co.’s Campbell Works and fix them up.
“I get it [the eerie feeling] when I go out on the road to tear stuff out of these old mills,” he said. “I am going around the country and taking down what made this country great.”
Casey Equipment owns 11 buildings and 110 acres at the former Campbell Works. Nineteen employees work in what was the steel mill’s machine shop. Casey buys and sells steel mill equipment. The workers rebuild direct-current crane motors, brakes and crane controls. A road crew goes out and removes the equipment Casey buys from shuttered mills.
Inside the building where Kostecki works, decades-old machines, including lathes and horizontal mills, still work.
“Most of this machinery in here has been in here since the 1930s,” Kostecki said.
Forty years later and Youngstown has yet to recover from the collapse of the steel industry that started Sept. 19, 1977, with Sheet & Tube’s announcement it would end a majority of its steel production at the Campbell Works.
“We haven’t recovered entirely because we are still trying to figure out what can replace those industries,” said Mekael Teshome, PNC Bank economist.
Read more about the recovery in Thursday's Vindicator or on Vindy.com.