Craig Manufacturing, a leader in the field of heavy machinery and industrial equipment, originally made its mark in the thriving industrial landscape of Canada. In October 2018, the company decided to invest nearly $6.4 million and establish its first U.S. operations in Lawrenceburg, Tennessee. Five years later, in 2024, the company has settled into Lawrence County and created nearly 80 new job opportunities for Tennesseans.


From Canada to Tennessee: The Big Move

Founded in 1946, Craig Manufacturing is a third-generation, family-owned business that has grown to become a leading producer of attachments and assemblies for heavy construction, forestry, mining, energy and utility equipment.

For the Canadian company, embedding itself into the local culture was very important.

“It really was about if we’re going to be in Tennessee, we wanted to be as Tennessean as we could,” explained Les Harding, vice president of USA Manufacturing for Craig Manufacturing. “There’s a big banner on the front of our building that says, ‘made in America, mastered in Tennessee,’ and we believe that.”

The company worked closely with the Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce, Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development (TNECD) and Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) to build a strong foundation for their new home.

“When Craig was evaluating sites and buildings around the Southeast, we had a 60,000-square-foot shell building ready for investment,” said Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce President Ryan Egly. “They came, and we immediately just hit it off. They said it felt like home.”

Craig Manufacturing Groundbreaking | October 2018


Production and Growth

Since opening its Lawrenceburg facility in 2018, Craig Manufacturing has made significant strides.

“On average, probably 60 to 80 tons of steel a week roll in the shop,” explained Harding. “It’s all U.S.-based steel, and we kind of destroy it, for lack of a better term. When it’s done it leaves in a completely different shape, but it is 100 percent made in America, right here in Tennessee.”

The facility, equipped with state-of-the-art computer numerical control (CNC) machines and robotic welding equipment, has grown from a small team to a workforce of between 75 and 80 people in the last five years. The employees take pride in the products they build, which are essential components for various industries.

“We make tools that allow all of us to go to work,” said Harding. “If there’s a big piece, typically of yellow, orange or gray equipment, there’s something hanging off the front or side that makes it do its work, and we build that for some of the largest manufacturers in the world.”


Building a Local Workforce

One of the key aspects of Craig Manufacturing’s success in Tennessee has been its commitment to hiring locally.

“We only transferred in one employee from Canada,” said Harding. “Then we secured local talent, and we got to work with a lot of the TCAT schools in the area, even some of the local high schools that do dual enrollment programs.”

Chris Ramsey graduated from TCAT Pulaski in 2021 and started his career at Craig Manufacturing right out of school. Initially hired for a shipping and receiving role, Chris quickly transitioned into his current position, Maintenance Lead.

“This is one of the first companies I’ve worked for that actually treat you like family,” said Ramsey. “They will always supply you with the tools you need to make your job easier and the quality better.”

According to Ramsey, Craig Manufacturing’s emphasis on family-first values, voluntary overtime and an encouraging environment are what set it apart from other manufacturing companies.

“I plan to just grow with the company and have this be my final job,” said Ramsey. “I plan on retiring here.”

Alex Watridge is currently a CNC/General Machinist Apprentice and a student at TCAT Hohenwald. Balancing work, school and motherhood, Watridge finds Craig Manufacturing to be an incredibly supportive environment.

“Everybody is so friendly,” shared Watridge. “They help me out tremendously with anything that I need, and it’s just a great company, honestly the nicest company I’ve ever been at.”

As a woman in a male-dominated field, Watridge encourages other females to pursue careers in the trade industry, especially because of the numerous job opportunities and competitive pay.


Looking Ahead

The future looks bright for Craig Manufacturing. With plans to expand its Tennessee operations and potentially open new locations, the company is ready for continued growth.

“There will be another Craig location in the not-too-distant future, and it will report to Tennessee,” said Harding. “This will be our U.S head office. That’s always been the plan.”

For Egly, Craig Manufacturing is the perfect example of the kind of businesses people should want in the Volunteer State.

“When you think about companies like Craig Manufacturing, the family-owned company with deep family values, that’s the type of company we need here in Tennessee, that we want here in Tennessee,” explained Egly. “The companies that have announced across the state, over the past few years especially, they recognize that Tennessee hasn’t lost our way.”

Craig Manufacturing’s success in Tennessee highlights the importance of a supportive business environment.

“Regardless of the industry, if you’re in business and want to be treated fairly and recognized for what you do and bring to the table, Tennessee and the economic development group, whether state or local, have done an exceptional job,” said Harding. “Tennessee is leading the way. This is definitely one of the hot spots in all of America.”

“Tennessee is leading the way. This is definitely one of the hot spots in all of America.”

Les Harding, VP of USA Manufacturing, Craig Manufacturing

Craig Manufacturing’s journey from a family business in Canada to a thriving operation in Lawrenceburg, Tennessee, is a testament to its commitment to quality, community and growth. By utilizing local talent, supporting educational institutions and maintaining a family-oriented culture, Craig Manufacturing has become a cornerstone of the Lawrenceburg community.

To learn more about Craig Manufacturing, visit

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