There's no place like home, itâ€™s just an old saying, but it's also the reason why a vital Sand Springs company is staying put. The News On 6â€™s Steve Berg reports Cust-O-Fab had every reason to move to Houston except for one, they didn't want to.
Delbert Wickett has been at Cust-O-Fab from the beginning in the early 70s.
"Worked here for 35 years, built the majority of the buildings around here," he said. "When I went to work here, there were seven of us total and that was including the two owners. Things have changed a lot."
The workforce has gone from seven to 170 at the refinery equipment supplier. But they all almost went to Houston, for all the obvious reasons. That's where all their customers are, and there's a larger labor pool to draw from, but Vice President Danny O'Brian says it's not where he's from.
"Y'know I've lived here 40 years, and it would be hard for me to move to Houston," said Oâ€™Brian. â€œSand Springs has a good school system. It has a good labor pool to draw from. It's just a great city."
But we asked him what you do if you take all the emotion out of the equation, and just made a purely business-based decision. Oâ€™Brian gave us a knowing smile.
"It made more sense to go to Houston," Oâ€™Brian said.
Wickett and many others are glad they didn't.
"Nah, that would be a real nightmare," Wickett said. "I just don't think I could adapt to the big city like Houston."
So score one for the home team! And even though they're staying here, they're definitely not sitting still. Cust-O-Fab is expanding their factory space, and they're looking to add 70 more employees by summertime, which will put the total workforce well over 200 people.
"Hopefully we make some money, and our employees make some money, and we continue on for another 35 years," Oâ€™Brian said.
Besides having a large workforce, Cust-O-Fab estimates that it spends $15 million every year with various Sand Springs vendors.
For more information on Cust-O-Fab visit their website custofab.com