It happens every few decades or at least every half century. It may seem to skip one generation but not usually two. It must happen in order to survive. “It” refers to the transition of economic contributors from one generation to the next.
Their story is quite common. A young entrepreneur begins or acquires a business. They are ambitious, full of optimism, have the energy to put in long days, and the forbearance to deal with setbacks and stresses. They have dreams of owning their own business, building it into a success and providing for their families and the families of their employees. Their determination pays off. They are successful. Many thousands of dollars are generated and circulated through the local community. Those that benefit from their organization include: suppliers, customers, employees, local consumer based businesses, local government, and their community. They have become an economic contributor. They are among the thousands of small businesses that make up our economy. Each doing their part to generate jobs and circulate the dollar. Without them, our economies would collapse. Our standard of living would drastically be altered.
So who are they? Who make up this group of individuals in our communities and what are they doing? Who are taking the risks, making the investments, and placing their confidence and trust in our community to help secure the future of Beaver County?
In this re-occuring article you will be introduced to past, present, and upcoming entrepreneurs. Those who have vigorously pursued their dreams and ambitions of owning a business and in doing so have become a Beaver County Economic Contributor.
This week we highlight Rollins Machine Inc.
The year was 1975 and the place, Milford Utah. The new business was trucking, construction, and machining owned by Dick and Toni Rollins. They were young and ambitious with a drive to make it work in their small town.
So, with youthful energy backed by a heritage of hard work, Mr. and Mrs. Rollins began a journey that would result in thriving businesses that would bless many families and communities. They made it through the many peaks and valleys of the economy. Forty one years of late nights and weekend work for Dick and endless accounting by Toni and contributions from their children resulted in employing up to 70 employees at their highest and averaging around 40 individuals. Combining the millions of dollars in payroll with the millions of dollars in sales and services, and many other impacts over the last 41 years, the Rollins businesses have been a stalwart Beaver County Economic Contributor.
He was only thirteen when he received his first role in the machine shop - as the sweeper. At the age of sixteen, Mike began working the machines. When asked about Mike as a beginning employee Dick said “he caught on so quick, it was like he was born to be a machinist”.
For those less familiar with the term machining, it is used to describe a variety of material removal processes in which a cutting tool removes unwanted material from a workpiece to produce a desired shape. For Rollins Machine Inc, this means placing a raw piece of steel on a lathe and cutting gear grooves into it.
Mike took to the machines early on and by the age of 19 was a journeyman machinist. While Dick was pleased at Mike’s intelligence and efficiency, he was saddened at the prospect of losing Mike upon high school graduation. “Mike could have gone on to any of the best machining colleges in the nation, he was that good. I was sure he would leave directly after graduation.” After assessing the possibilities Mike decided that “I have learned and can learn everything I need to know right here in the shop.” Therefore, he decided to forgo college and stay working at the shop. Dick said that he “thanked the good Lord” upon receiving this news.
Mike continued his machining for several more years until he progressed as far as he could go in the company. The next natural step for Mike, was to become the owner, which happened August of 2016.
When asked what he loves most about his job Mike said, “I love solving problems, I love working with my hands and starting with a raw material and then standing back and seeing the finished product.” Although there are many things he loves about his line of work, there are a few inconveniences such as working late nights and weekends. The companies he supports are twenty four hour seven days per week services. Energy companies, the mining industry, and the oil industry are a few of the industries he supports.
Mike’s goal is to continue to grow and modernize the business, which may take ten to fifteen years due to the high costs of machines. The price tag for some machines are a quarter of a million dollars. There are other short term improvements like a new website of which should be available to the public within the next few months.
Mike was clear on one thing; even though the name of the owner has changed, the name of the business will not. That name represents forty one years of hard work, honesty, and ingenuity - it has become a symbol of integrity within the machining industry. It represents a legacy of the Rollins family and their commitment to the families and economy of Beaver County. This is a reputation Mike will continue.
We honor the Rollins family for their contributions to the economy of Beaver County. We wish Mike, his wife Kamber and their two daughters the best of luck on this new journey and thank them for being part of the new generation of Beaver County Economic Contributors.