H & S Machine Shop

Posted - May 7, 2004 at 4:21 p.m.



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This is Fred Ball for Zions Bank, speaking on business.

Alvin Heaton entered his profession in an unusual way. As it turns out, his H & S Machine Shop in Hurricane is the result of an early effort to make a utility trailer for his pick-up truck.

He needed a backup plate for an axle and watched a neighbor fabricate the piece. Alvin says the process fascinated him. He knew he could do that type of work and was instantly "hooked" on the profession.

That fall, Alvin enrolled at the Utah Technical College in Orem. When he completed the schooling, he went to work at a machine shop. Three and a half months later, Alvin decided to become an entrepreneur and later started H & S Machine Shop in January of 1988.

The "H" in the name stands for Heaton, Alvin's last name. "Who's the ŒS'?" I asked. "Oh, that's my wife, LaRue. Her maiden name was Spendlove, so we used that initial for the H & S Machine shop," Alvin explained.

The company does general machine work, tool and die projects, stamping, short-run production and produces prototype pieces. Alvin has a long list of loyal, satisfied customers including S & S Steel, 3H Landscaping, Interstate Rock products, and others.

I was curious about how Alvin and LaRue were able to become successful business owners after only three and a half months of completing his education. "Everyone needs a mentor," Alvin says. Alvin had two — Alex Baksai, a machinist in Washington, and Howard Baldwin, a retired mold maker. They took Alvin under their wing and offered good advice.

Alvin is right. Everyone needs a mentor. Successful business people should look around and see if there isn't a fine, young businessperson that could use a boost.

For Zions Bank I'm Fred Ball. I'm speaking on business.

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