Whether working above or below ground, Jennmar goes above and beyond for their employees and customers
In 1922, Pittsburgh’s steel mills operated 24/7, 365 days a year. Seeing the tremendous opportunities there would be in providing service to the mills, Frank and Mary Calandra opened their scrap metal business. The company they founded with a single horse and buggy grew into one of the most recognizable and trusted ground control companies in the country – and has remained in the Calandra family for three generations and counting.
For over 40 years, Frank Calandra, Inc. (FCI) served as a mining product supplier to the area's coal mines, specializing in rail products. In 1965, Frank Calandra Jr. shifted the firm’s focus to roof support products; seven years later, Frank and his brother, Jack, then founded FCI’s first subsidiary. Jennmar would leverage its reputation for quality into an international presence.
Today, grandson Tony helms the family business. A 20-year veteran of the industry, he was a Senior Accountant at Ernst & Young before joining the family enterprise. A Bucknell University graduate, Tony also earned an MBA from Waynesburg College.
Michael Calandra, Jack’s son, runs the family trucking and rail enterprises.
Under Tony’s leadership, Jennmar has developed an impressively diverse portfolio of manufacturing and service companies, several of which carry the Jennmar brand. Eyes trained on the future, in 2013 he launched Calandra Group (CG), a holding company for new investments that would significantly extend the organization’s reach across multiple industries.
As a result, Jennmar successfully entered the chemical manufacturing, metal cutting, industrial fabrication, machining, labor services, oil and gas, and conveyance industries. The affiliate companies operating under the CG umbrella provide a complete range of complementary products and services. This approach ensures quality, efficiency, and availability, and in turn cuts costs, shortens lead times, and increases customer satisfaction.
At present, Jennmar operates 36 manufacturing plants and offices in the continental U.S., as well as Jennmar International. That umbrella covers Jennmar Canada, which supplies a comprehensive range of ground support products for the Canadian mining industry, and Jennmar Australia, which provides that support with facilities in New South Wales, Queensland, and Perth. In total, Jennmar employs over 3,500 people worldwide.
The Jennmar Roster
“About 20 years ago we were focused solely on mining,” Tony Calandra explained. “Today we do anything to support underground coal, hard rock mining, and infrastructure above and below ground.” The Jennmar Civil subsidiary also provides tunneling foundation support. “Anywhere in the world where ground needs support or to be stabilized is where you will find us.”
A glimpse of the Jennmar affiliate companies is key to understanding the value of the enterprise to the range of markets they serve.
Jennmar manufactures everything from bolts and beams to channels and trusses, resin, rebar, and more at 15 locations spanning from the East Coast to the Intermountain West.
Jennmar Engineering provides advanced engineering services that include structural analysis, numerical modeling and 3-D modeling, and hosts the company’s robust research and development operation.
Jennchem designs, delivers, and provides on-site services and support for chemical roof support, rock stabilization, and ventilation sealing products to the mining and underground construction industries.
JM Steel provides a variety of flat rolled steel products including master coils, slit coils, blanks, beams, sheets, flat bars and panels made in their two state-of-the-art, 120,000-sq.-ft. steel processing and warehousing facilities. JM’s other capabilities include plasma cutting, roll forming, stamping, and press braking.
JM Steel's newest facility, located in Sinton, Texas, is an ultra-modern steel processing and warehousing facility that will house a pair of slitting lines and two roll forming lines. The roll forming tube mills is JM Steel’s new venture into the solar industry.
Jennmar Civil serves the civil construction and tunneling industries with materials typically used for large diameter shaft and tunnel ground support systems, as well as steel rail and liner plate support products. Jennmar’s vast array of manufacturing and fabrication facilities enable this affiliate to supply turnkey ground support products for the civil and geotech industries.
Jennmar Services, the organization’s staffing experts, serves the coal mining, oil and gas, construction, and industrial plant industries with top-tier, trained personnel qualified to work in these areas. From supporting an existing workforce during peak times, to screening potential hires, to evaluating skill sets and work ethic before hiring, Jennmar Services connects their customers to well-trained personnel.
XCAL Tools manufactures its own carbide and produces a full line of roof drill bits, continuous miner bits, and accessories, manufacturing bits, road planing, soil stabilization, reclaiming, grading, trenching, and foundation drilling bits, and carbide tooling products, all made in the USA. Five plants around the country handle unique product lines and capabilities.
XCAL Tools – Clare, LLC is a leading manufacturer of high-quality recycling, forestry, and agricultural OEMs, hard facing, and wear parts.
XCAL Industries supplies tungsten carbide blanks for the automotive, aircraft and aerospace, energy, appliance, medical, forestry, construction, and other industries. Their in-house shop produces over 30 grades of material; their customized powder production process ensures optimal quality control.
Daring to Diversify
A Jennmar hallmark is the ability to creatively shift to serve industries with changing needs and business goals, a skill set honed through decades of navigating the troughs and valleys of the mining industry.
“In 2016, I purchased a company called Sandshell, which ultimately became XCAL Tools,” Calandra said. At the time, the acquired company was making components used in underground mining known as picks. With some modifications, in addition to their mining product, the rebranded affiliate branched out into forestry, agriculture, and construction.
“We're making snowplow blades out of there now, as well as tools used in the forestry industry.” They include earth movers and tools used in recycling mulching, road milling, drilling, and trench work.
The capacity of JM Steel to slit flat-rolled steel products, such as master coils, has also eased them into the commercial construction and automotive sectors.
JM Steel’s newest foray into growth mode is as a supplier to the burgeoning solar energy industry. In the spring of this year, in partnership with solar tracking firm Nextracker, JM Steel opened a dedicated solar tracker production line in their Steel Dynamics Inc. (SDI) facility near Corpus Christi, Texas.
“This is something we never would have thought about 10 or 15 years ago,” Calandra admitted.
The steel used in Nextracker’s products will be made with SDI’s newest Electric Arc Furnace (EAF) technology, which utilizes recycled or scrap steel as a raw material for a lower carbon footprint. EAF reduces the energy required to manufacture steel and is a more efficient process with less pollution.
Maintaining the family atmosphere
In every growing family business, there’s a point when keeping the warm “family feel” buckles under the strain of success. That’s not the case with Jennmar, and an essential aspect of that welcoming atmosphere is the genuine care and attention given to their workforce of over 3,500 people.
Their provenance in manufacturing and service aside, one of the most eye-popping Jennmar innovations is the company’s total wellness program. “About six or seven years ago I noticed a trend as we grew. Not only did our hospitalization cost grow, our expense per employee also was growing,” Calandra told BOSS. “Instead of just taking an approach where we could take benefits away from people to save costs and save money, we went another way.”
That other way? Create their own healthcare group.
Jennmar partnered with Total Care Health, a six-physician practice, to administer the wellness program. Workers undergo annual biometric screenings to identify and prevent potential health issues such as diabetes. “We have a thorough interview with our employees to understand their current lifestyle and the impacts of their family history and offer guidance on how to avoid future health problems,” Calandra noted. Certain plants have triage centers as well.
In the industries Jennmar serves, muscle strain and musculoskeletal issues are common, so they work with an orthopedic group to assist the company’s safety department and plant managers in identifying processes they can put in place to help avoid these painful and potentially crippling conditions. Many of the company’s plants are in rural areas, where emergency room visits often take the place of routine medical appointments to solve non-critical issues such as sinus infections, so the wellness program includes telemedicine.
Jennmar’s commitment to safety is a big draw for those looking to make their mark in any one of the organization's areas of expertise. “We are in the safety business, and we consider safety to be a core company value,” Calandra stressed.
While the company complies with all applicable regulations and standards, including OSHA, MSHA, EPA, DOT, and others, they view those regulatory requirements as “absolute minimum safety standards.”
It’s no wonder that half of the organization’s employees have been with them for over five years, and 35% have 10 or more years of tenure. Jennmar’s employee premiums for their family medical plan are better than 80% of nationwide offerings for the manufacturing industry.
“We offer extremely good benefits,” Calandra pointed out, “We match our 401(k) dollar for dollar, which is unheard of.” Employee contributions to the benefits package are low; a family can get benefits for $60 a month.
“Despite how big we are and how big we're getting, we never lose our family-type atmosphere,” he added. “When I first started, we probably had 500 people. It is getting harder, but we still strive to maintain that.” Every quarter Calandra meets with all the affiliate companies, domestic and international, to make sure that Jennmar management teams are keeping that family-type feeling.
“Jennmar is a very generous, welcoming company that works very, very hard. We ask a lot of our employees, but we also give a lot back.”
We’re JENNMAR, a global, family-owned company that is leading the way in ground control technology for the mining, tunneling and civil construction industries. Since 1972 our mission has been focused on developing and manufacturing quality ground control products.
Today we make a broad range of reliable products, from bolts and beams, to channels and trusses, to resin and rebar. We’re proud to make products that make the industries we serve safer and more efficient. And with more than 20 manufacturing plants around the world, we are uniquely positioned to react to ground control needs anywhere, anytime.
We're a single source provider! Our network of affiliates includes engineering services, resin and rolled-steel manufacturing, custom steel fabrication, roof, miner and specialty bits, chemical roof support and sealing products, and even includes our own trucking company. This ability to provide a complete range of complementary products and services ensures quality, efficiency and availability resulting in reduced costs, reduced lead times and increased customer satisfaction!
JENNMAR continues to grow, but our focus will always be on the customer. We feel it is essential to develop a close working relationship with every customer so we can understand their unique challenges and ensure superior customer service. Our commitment to the customer is guided by three words: SAFETY, SERVICE and INNOVATION. It’s these words that form the foundation of our business. It’s who we are.
258 Kappa Drive
Pittsburgh, PA 15238
Phone Number: 412.963.9071
Fax Number: 412.963.8099
Homepage Link: https://www.jennmar.com/