Econ Engineering, which manufactures gritting and snow plough vehicles at its factory in Ripon, is celebrating reaching an employment milestone this month. The firm now has 21 employees, who have worked for the company for 21 years or longer.
The £26m turnover, family-owned manufacturer was established in 1969 and has grown to become the UK’s leading supplier of gritting and snow plough vehicles. The Ripon factory now employs over 200 people and its bright yellow snow clearing and road mending vehicles have become a staple of local authorities’ winter maintenance fleets up and down the country.
Stuart Cove, who joined Econ in 1976 as a 16-year-old apprentice from Easingwold School, and now works as a supervisor in the firm’s vehicle fitting shop is one of the company’s longest serving members of staff and has seen many changes over his 37 years with the company.
I’ve always been proud to work for Econ.
The way the company has changed through continued investment in new technology is one of the reasons I have enjoyed working here so much.
Econ has always been innovative.
We have to be, so that we can produce the best and most technologically advanced vehicles that our customers will continue to choose above our competitors.
Stuart, who has worked in most of the company’s departments over his career, said that, as well as being somewhere where people chose to continue working for many years, Econ also had a great deal to offer young people considering a career in manufacturing or engineering.
The vehicles that we make here in Ripon are highly specialised, and the long term employment prospects for anyone who learns their trade here are excellent due to the wide range of skills that we use, from metalwork to welding and electrics.
The fact that Econ is a family owned and run business also makes it really good to work for. It’s a far cry from a faceless corporation and there is a really strong team dynamic, combined with the sense that the Econ directors value and look after their staff.
Andrew Lupton, sales director at Econ, whose father Bill founded the business, said:
Econ has manufactured gritters and other vehicles in Ripon for two generations and we are enormously proud of our heritage and of our long-standing track record as an employer of choice in Ripon.
We have always regarded our highly skilled workforce as our greatest asset and it’s a testament to the high regard in which we hold our people that over 10 per cent of our employees have chosen to stay with us for more than two decades.
As well as looking after our long serving people, we are also very conscious of the importance of bringing new blood into the company so that we can continue to grow. Our apprenticeship scheme, which this year has seen three new starters at Econ, operates in synergy with our more mature employees, who pass on invaluable skills and expertise to the newcomers.